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

But voila, there is this orchestra over this one weekend and it is very loved by the community. Deborah Martin, ExpressNews.com, "Conductor Akiko Fujimoto takes up baton again in Texas," 26 June 2019 In the final movement Francis and company captured the spirit of thanksgiving, a wonderful feeling at the conclusion of such outstanding orchestra playing. Ken Jacques, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Tao wows and Francis dances in Mainly Mozart final concert," 23 June 2019 The sources ranged from teenage students in the orchestra’s National Composers Intensive to the American octogenarian greats Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Mark Swed, latimes.com, "How the L.A. Phil centennial season delivered on the promise of unprecedented goods," 20 June 2019 For all those reasons, filling the rosters of soccer, rowing and other varsity sports teams is a larger and more systematic operation within the typical admissions shop than filling the campus orchestra. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "Bribery scandal points to the athletic factor: A major force in college admissions," 13 June 2019 Thus during Benjamin Beilman’s performance of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, visitors were treated to the sight of him playing simple accompanying figures while a dramatic main theme unfolded in the orchestra. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Grant Park Orchestra review: A visually daunting season-opener with Mayor Lori Lightfoot," 13 June 2019 Most of the dramatic tension was built in the orchestra, conducted by Jaap van Zweden, using repeated melodic cells and slashing percussion that created an undertone of darkness and dread. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘prisoner of the state’ Review: Stripping Away the Story," 12 June 2019 Patti Meiners has played keyboard in the orchestra for the past six musicals at La Porte High School, but mainly she and her husband perform and direct at Baytown Little Theatre. Don Maines, Houston Chronicle, "Clear Lake director aims for funny bone in farce," 7 June 2019 Kensho Watanabe leads the full orchestra in a program whose repertoire is as-yet unannounced. Peter Dobrin, https://www.inquirer.com, "Classical summer: Bradley Cooper, Harry Potter, piano stars, Yannick debuts at a spiffed-up Mann Center," 5 June 2019

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

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orchestra

The first known use of orchestra was in 1606

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More Definitions for orchestra



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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