or·ches·tra | \ ˈȯr-kə-strə , -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

Conducting the orchestra is Alain Trudel, who worked with Keoghan on the original production at the Montreal Opera. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' was turned into an opera and it's making its American debut in Cincinnati," 13 July 2018 Composers who also produce, perform, or conduct the orchestra on a score get an additional fee. refinery29.com, "Record Scratch: Only 6% Of Your Favorite Shows Use Music Composed By Women," 1 July 2018 Michael McKelvey directs; Jaune Buisson choreographs; C. Leonard Raybon conducts the orchestra. Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com, "Tulane's Summer Lyric kicks off season with concert celebrating 'Bernstein at 100!'," 2 June 2018 Raul Gomez conducts the orchestra in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, often credited with breaking the mold of the symphony, starting with a then-unconventional opening that emphasizes mood over melody. Amy Wang | The Oregonian/oregonlive, OregonLive.com, "Arts picks: A new 'Cinderella' tale, Jackson Bottom Wetlands art show, more," 31 May 2018 And finally, Christopher Warren-Green, the music director for the Charlotte Symphony, will conduct the orchestra at the wedding ceremony. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: The City of Charlotte Has an Uncanny Number of Ties to the Royal Wedding," 16 May 2018 Maestro Brian Groner will conduct the orchestra while Lisa Fredenburgh conducts the chorus. Joy Davis, Aurora Beacon-News, "Orchestra and chorus to perform in Aurora," 26 Apr. 2018 The film will be shown in high-definition on a 40-foot screen with Justin Freer conducting the orchestra. Mark Rapp, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Arts listings for April 20-26: Akron Symphony Orchestra presents "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert" & More," 19 Apr. 2018 Daniela Candillari conducts the 16-piece orchestra. Deanna Isaacs, Chicago Reader, "Arts / Opera / Performing Arts / LGBT Fellow Travelers brings the 1950s ‘lavender scare’ to opera," 19 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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Phrases Related to orchestra

the orchestra

Statistics for orchestra

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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

the orchestra : a group of seats in a theater that are close to the stage


or·ches·tra | \ ˈȯr-kə-strə \

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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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