Definition of orchestra in English:


Line breaks: or¦ches|tra
Pronunciation: /ˈɔːkɪstrə


  • 1 [treated as singular or plural] A group of instrumentalists, especially one combining string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections and playing classical music.
    More example sentences
    • Numbering more than 15,000, Boosey publications are a staple for serious musicians of all instruments, and for concert bands, orchestras and choirs.
    • The brass section of an orchestra typically consists of trumpets, horns, trombones, and tubas.
    • Calfe also is active in her high school marching, concert and jazz bands, orchestra and percussion ensemble.
    informal band
  • 2 (also orchestra pit) The part of a theatre where the orchestra plays, typically in front of the stage and on a lower level.
    More example sentences
    • This could be lowered for an orchestra pit; raised to match the floor level just in front of the stage, where it could support three rows of seating; or raised further to the stage's level, increasing its frontal floor area.
    • During an orchestra rehearsal for New York City Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon rushes onto the stage from the audience, nimbly maneuvering over a narrow strip between the proscenium and the orchestra pit.
    • He's been keeping her in the orchestra pit under the stage all this time.
  • 2.1North American The stalls in a theatre.
  • 3The semicircular space in front of an ancient Greek theatre stage where the chorus danced and sang.
    More example sentences
    • An exceptional feature of the theatre is the fact that a small stream was channelled through the space between the orchestra and the back of the proscenium.


early 17th century: via Latin from Greek orkhēstra, from orkheisthai 'to dance'.

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