or·​ches·​tra | \ ˈȯr-kə-strə How to pronounce orchestra (audio) , -ˌke-\

Definition of orchestra

1a : the circular space used by the chorus in front of the proscenium in an ancient Greek theater
b : a corresponding semicircular space in a Roman theater used for seating important persons
2a : the space in front of the stage in a modern theater that is used by an orchestra
b : the forward section of seats on the main floor of a theater
c : the main floor of a theater
3 : a group of musicians including especially string players organized to perform ensemble music — compare band

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Examples of orchestra in a Sentence

He plays violin in the school orchestra. the orchestra will be performing a selection of Beethoven pieces tomorrow night

Recent Examples on the Web

Vardy has long been Leicester's attacking focal point, not just providing an abundance of goals, but also leading the team's high-press, by gesticulating manically to his teammates like a deranged conductor to his orchestra. SI.com, "Leicester City 2019/20 Season Preview: Strengths, Weaknesses, Key Man & Predictions," 7 Aug. 2019 The downtown arts center made a raft of announcements Monday morning, including the introduction of season tickets for its jazz orchestra, and another ticket package designed to offer savings on concerts and dance performances. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Dr. Phillips Center announces new Broadway show, concerts and ticket packages," 3 June 2019 According to Sheryl Staples, principal associate concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, her orchestra is now about half women—and the violin section 90 percent female. Maya Chung, The New York Review of Books, "When Women Take the Baton," 26 Mar. 2019 The orchestra now performs at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, with its offices at a separate downtown location. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Symphony's $89 million concert hall will have huge impact on downtown's west side," 15 June 2018 The orchestra also performs Vasily Kalinnikov’s Symphony No. 1 in G minor, conducted by Branden Muresan. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Boys & Girls Club member wins state title," 18 May 2018 The orchestra will perform in the Leipzig Market Square and the Gewendhaus Concert Hall. Steven Goode, courant.com, "Young Musicians From West Hartford, South Windsor Selected for Boston Youth Symphony," 27 Apr. 2018 After intermission, the orchestra performs the work in its entirety. Jen Banowetz, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin Symphony concert offers some variety," 15 Mar. 2018 Chicago Sinfonietta: Continuing its 30th anniversary season, the orchestra under music director Mei-Ann Chen performs world and Chicago premieres of works by women composers: Florence Price, Jennifer Higdon, Reena Esmail and others. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Recommended Chicago classical concerts for March 9-15," 8 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orchestra.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of orchestra

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for orchestra

Latin, from Greek orchēstra, from orcheisthai to dance; perhaps akin to Sanskrit ṛghāyati he trembles, he rages

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Statistics for orchestra

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for orchestra

The first known use of orchestra was in 1606

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English Language Learners Definition of orchestra

: a group of musicians who play usually classical music together and who are led by a conductor
US : a group of seats in a theater that are close to the stage


or·​ches·​tra | \ ˈȯr-kə-strə How to pronounce orchestra (audio) \

Kids Definition of orchestra

1 : a group of musicians who perform instrumental music using mostly stringed instruments
2 : the front part of the main floor in a theater

Other Words from orchestra

orchestral \ ȯr-​ˈke-​strəl \ adjective

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Comments on orchestra

What made you want to look up orchestra? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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