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

The Texas Tenors The trio performs a mix of Broadway, classical, pop and country with a 30-piece orchestra. Matt Cooper, Los Angeles Times, "Classical music in L.A. this week: ‘La Bohème’ at LA Opera and more," 8 Sep. 2019 In an intimate setting, witness a professional orchestra hard at work on stage. Laura Daily And Bryan K. Chavez, The Know, "16 free and cheap things to do around Denver in July," 1 July 2019 Since the clinic’s opening in February — 200 guests attended the lavish inauguration ceremony, which featured a 40-piece orchestra — about 70 students have volunteered at the clinic. Larry Luxner, sun-sentinel.com, "Israel’s student-run health clinic provides care for all and it’s free," 26 June 2019 Comedy icon performs his songs with a full orchestra. 8 p.m. at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins, The Woodlands; 281-364-3010. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Concerts in Houston: Hugh Jackman, Ruben Blades, “Weird Al” Yankovic," 13 June 2019 Dramatic moments, even the rocket launch, are displayed cosmically huge on 40,000 square feet of screen with 360-degree video projection and a score recorded with a 70-piece orchestra. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "Apollo 11's 50th anniversary: 5 great moon movies to celebrate humanity's great achievement," 28 Feb. 2019 With staff and many volunteers on hand, theater and orchestra performances are modified to minimize stress for attendees while preserving artistic integrity. Caryn M. Sullivan, Twin Cities, "Caryn Sullivan: Meeting sensory challenges head-on," 25 Aug. 2019 There also was disagreement over how much focus the work group should give to looking at the orchestra’s past financial problems, versus discussing changes that need to be made for the future. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore Symphony Orchestra work group agrees on little in ‘awkward’ first meeting," 23 Aug. 2019 Famous band leader Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra notably features in the number as well. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "8 essential Judy Garland movies that aren't The Wizard of Oz," 23 Aug. 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

12 Sep 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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Comments on orchestra

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