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

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 The orchestra has been together for 10 days before Saturday’s rehearsal, preparing for Tuesday’s concert. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 1 Aug. 2022 During a recent rehearsal of the Shostakovich, the orchestra was at full throttle. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 1 July 2022 Both singers were clearly honored to be performing next to Goldblum, and engaged in endearing banter with him before delivering silky-smooth vocals to match the orchestra’s jazzy stylings. Ellise Shafer, Variety, 23 June 2022 But some of the opera’s most triumphal moments were seriously pockmarked by the orchestra’s valveless natural horns, stubbornly untunable on Saturday. Hannah Edgar, Chicago Tribune, 19 June 2022 The orchestra’s principal horn position had been empty for several years. New York Times, 6 June 2022 Throughout, the orchestra was electric and unified, rendering gestural extremes with a knowing and controlled power and clarity. Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 May 2022 Even though the orchestra is a community band, its repertoire belies any lesser expectations. John Benson, cleveland, 9 May 2022 The orchestra’s program will include Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov’s Seventh Symphony and Ukrainian virtuoso Anna Fedorova playing Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Ginger Adams Otis, WSJ, 3 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for orchestra

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The first known use of orchestra was in 1606

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orchestra bells

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Orchestra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orchestra. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for orchestra


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

More from Merriam-Webster on orchestra

Nglish: Translation of orchestra for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of orchestra for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orchestra


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