or·​ches·​trate | \ ˈȯr-kə-ˌstrāt How to pronounce orchestrate (audio) \
orchestrated; orchestrating

Definition of orchestrate

transitive verb

1a : to compose or arrange (music) for an orchestra The composer orchestrated the music for the symphony orchestra.
b : to provide with orchestration orchestrate a ballet
2 : to arrange or combine so as to achieve a desired or maximum effect orchestrated preparations for the banquet a carefully orchestrated stunt

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Other Words from orchestrate

orchestrator or less commonly orchestrater \ ˈȯr-​kə-​ˌstrā-​tər How to pronounce orchestrater (audio) \ noun

Examples of orchestrate in a Sentence

He recently orchestrated a musical. She orchestrated the entire event. It's still unclear who was responsible for orchestrating the attack. A strike was orchestrated by union members.
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Recent Examples on the Web

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, of Egypt, a former field marshal who has orchestrated two military coups since 2011 and now ranks as the most autocratic leader in his country’s modern history. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "The Unbelievable Hypocrisy of Trump’s New “Unalienable Rights” Panel," 9 July 2019 Initially, some thought cynically — and without evidence — that Chastain had orchestrated her celebration to win a sports-bra contract. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "The Sports Bra Seen Round the World Has New Meaning 20 Years Later," 5 July 2019 One early American conspiracy theory, propagated by religious officials in New England during the late eighteenth century, held that the Illuminati had orchestrated the French Revolution and were planning to import Jacobinism to the United States. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "Democratic Rot and the Origins of American Conspiracism," 3 July 2019 Police later concluded that Mr. Smollett had orchestrated the attack, and a grand jury indicted him on 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "Jussie Smollett Case Faces New Probe by Special Prosecutor," 21 June 2019 Alison Hotchkiss: Based in San Francisco Though based in San Francisco, the team at Alison Events Planning & Design has orchestrated events all over the United States and in 14 countries around the world. Samantha Rees, Vogue, "The Best Wedding Planners in the U.S., Canada and Overseas," 17 May 2018 Some speculated that Kris Jenner had orchestrated the whole ordeal in order to boost Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ ratings, while others simply took to the comments section on Thompson’s Instagram to read him for filth. refinery29.com, "Khloé Kardashian Shared The First Video Of True — & Of Course It’s On Instagram," 12 May 2018 Jon Gruden has orchestrated a flurry of free-agent signings and trades since becoming Raiders head coach. Bud Shaw, cleveland.com, "Odell Beckham Jr. for the Browns would be a giant (and expensive) risk -- Bud Shaw's Spinoffs," 27 Mar. 2018 Gallagher’s lawyers say the group chat was used to orchestrate a smear campaign to bring down their demanding platoon chief. Julie Watson, The Denver Post, "Navy SEAL trial exposes divide in normally secretive force," 30 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orchestrate.' 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 orchestrate

1858, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for orchestrate

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orchestrate

The first known use of orchestrate was in 1858

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More Definitions for orchestrate



English Language Learners Definition of orchestrate

: to write or change (a piece of music) so that it can be played by an orchestra
: to organize or plan (something that is complicated)

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More from Merriam-Webster on orchestrate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with orchestrate

Spanish Central: Translation of orchestrate

Nglish: Translation of orchestrate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of orchestrate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on orchestrate

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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