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

Shari Redstone, the president of CBS parent company National Amusements, has been trying for years orchestrate a reunion. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Fleeting tariff relief; Germany's GDP; CBS-Viacom," 14 Aug. 2019 After three plays and zero first downs from Eli Manning, Daniel Jones, this year’s sixth overall draft pick, came in and orchestrated an eight-play touchdown drive, capped by a 12-yard score from wideout Benny Fowler. Conor Orr, SI.com, "Insights, Takeaways and Observations From Thursday’s NFL Preseason Week 1 Games," 9 Aug. 2019 Rumors spread that Catherine had orchestrated her husband’s murder. National Geographic, "This 'pretender princess' tried to steal Catherine the Great's throne," 6 Aug. 2019 Practice ended with Flacco orchestrating a successful 2-minute drive capped with a touchdown completion to Cracraft. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Broncos training camp rewind, Day 12: No panic over Drew Lock’s preseason performance," 4 Aug. 2019 Katzenberg, 68, has had a long career in Hollywood, orchestrating a turnaround at Disney and growing DreamWorks Animation into a $3.8 billion business that sold to NBCUniversal in 2016. Natalie Jarvey, The Hollywood Reporter, "Katzenberg’s Quibi Sees Early Success Luring Talent: "Everyone’s Sipping the Kool-Aid"," 30 July 2019 Abele spokeswoman Lauren Markowitz said the county executive is not orchestrating the negotiations. Alison Dirr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee County transit union talks resume as system predicts up to $8 million budget gap," 24 July 2019 Photo: Eric Risberg/AP/Shutterstock A new television special seeks to illuminate the relationship between murderer and cult leader Charles Manson and the women who followed him and orchestrated some of his crimes. Kaitlin Reilly, refinery29.com, "Manson: The Women Will Shine A Spotlight On Charles Manson’s Inner-Circle," 23 July 2019 With Haiti orchestrating its attack within the Canadian area, the defender slid in to tackle Bazile but he was called for penalty. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Haiti rallies past Canada in Gold Cup," 29 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

17 Aug 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).


to shake or wave menacingly

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