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 Steltzner helped orchestrate the first sky crane landing with Curiosity. William Harwood, CBS News, "NASA readies launch of Mars rover to look for signs of past life, collect samples for return to Earth," 28 July 2020 The company started out planning trips to Brazil in 2008 and has since expanded to orchestrate private, once-in-a-lifetime journeys around the globe. Sara Clemence, Travel + Leisure, "The Top 10 Tour Operators," 8 July 2020 The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post also reported on the Kremlin's effort to orchestrate attacks on Western troops. Fox News, "Lawmakers want answers from Trump Administration on reports Russia paid Taliban to attack US troops," 27 June 2020 Other council members echoed Jones' disapproval. Jones brought up a rumor that a member of the city council may have helped orchestrate the caravan. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit City Council president slams caravan protest as 'totally disrespectful'," 16 June 2020 More recently, Saab is suspected of helping Maduro orchestrate a swap with Iran as part of a broader assistance plan that has brought over oil, workers and supplies in exchange for about 9 tons of gold, worth $500 million. Patricia Laya, Bloomberg.com, "Maduro’s U.S.-Charged Dealmaker Alex Saab Detained in Cabo Verde," 11 June 2020 While the Katy for Justice advocacy group was formed specifically to orchestrate this protest, an organizer stated that the group has been inspired to continue their work after the event. Claire Goodman, Houston Chronicle, "Students’ Black Lives Matter protest moves to bigger park in Katy," 3 June 2020 Spark denounced the accusations as a smear campaign orchestrated by Beijing. Grady Mcgregor, Fortune, "How HSBC got stuck between Beijing’s new Hong Kong law and a hard place," 4 June 2020 This means cases are decided and orchestrated by international judges, lawyers and institutions. Jonathan Beloff, Soas, Quartz Africa, "Why France’s arrest of a high-profile Rwandan genocide suspect won’t end with a trial in Kigali," 21 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for orchestrate

Time Traveler

The first known use of orchestrate was in 1858

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Statistics for orchestrate

Last Updated

6 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Orchestrate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orchestrate. Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for orchestrate


How to pronounce orchestrate (audio)

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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