Definition of chorus in English:


Line breaks: chorus
Pronunciation: /ˈkɔːrəs

noun (plural choruses)

  • 1A part of a song which is repeated after each verse: strong guitar-driven songs with big, big choruses
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    • An anthemic song with a big chorus, and an infectious spring in its step, the number demonstrated Rooster's readiness to have fun with a big riff.
    • These are real songs here, with choruses and verses and vocals wrapped around each other.
    • Short and sweet, the songs spin around catchy choruses; witty verses are largely absent.
    refrain, burden, strain
    informal hook
  • 1.1A piece of choral music, especially one forming part of a larger work such as an opera: a selection of choruses from the ‘Messiah’
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    • Also, the music is more sectional, with clearly defined arias, ensemble pieces, and choruses.
    • The Leonin pieces alternate ensemble choruses of chant with organum passages which feature a solo voice floating melodic lines over the drone.
    • Although also without recitative, there were arioso pieces and instrumental symphonies, with choruses which included chorales.
  • 1.2A simple song for group singing in informal Christian worship: a typical service includes several hymns and choruses sung by all
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    • She wrote choruses that were sung in her church.
    • Worship is a mix of the good old traditional hymns and the more modern choruses led by the music group.
    • Some use musical instruments while others do not; some sing only Psalms while others use hymns and choruses.
  • 2A large organized group of singers, especially one which performs with an orchestra or opera company: he has words of praise for the RSNO Chorus
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    • The singers, choruses and orchestras that Britten conducts are among the finest that were ever recorded with a veritable array of British talent that one only dreams of assembling.
    • Under Mackerras's direction, singers, the huge chorus and orchestra played this in convincing, passionate fashion.
    • The balance between the orchestra, the choruses, and the soloists is excellent - the engineering helps.
  • 2.1A group of singers or dancers performing together in a supporting role in a musical or opera: the orchestra lacked polish and the chorus were inclined to rush ahead regardless
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    • A native of the town is bringing together special guests, choruses and dancers to perform all the big hits from the West End musicals.
    • They made 42nd Street - the story of a girl plucked from the chorus to the lead role in a Broadway musical - more than just a fluffy fairy tale.
    • She was unique in her day because most female dancers danced in the chorus and there were very few female solo performers.
    chorus line, dance troupe; dancing girls
  • 3A simultaneous utterance of something by many people: a growing chorus of complaint ‘Good morning,’ we replied in chorus
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    • But the chorus of whines about interference in the internal affairs of the country is 90 per cent arrant hypocrisy.
    • We beeline to Church Street and do the same thing, blowing through red lights and garnering a chorus of catcalls from the local street life.
    • American novelists have done their bit to swell the chorus of lamentation.
    in unison, together, simultaneously, at the same time, as one; in concert, in harmony
  • 4(In ancient Greek tragedy) a group of performers who comment together on the main action: Sophocles no longer gave the chorus the major role
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    • In Greek tragedy the chorus commented on the action, but in Feathers of Peace there is no commentator giving moral comment.
    • All Greek tragedies have choruses, who take on the roles of observers, narrators, commentators and critics.
    • In Greek theatre the chorus always marched onto stage in a square, but danced in circular mode.
  • 4.1A single character who speaks the prologue and other linking parts of the play, especially in Elizabethan drama.
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    • The play begins with a sonnet spoken by the chorus and in its poetry, language, and plot reflects the sonnet craze of the 1590s, from which period Shakespeare's own sequence dates.
    • Four individual characters and a chorus add flesh and blood to Sircar's play.
    • He is also accustomed to introduce a character as a sort of chorus, to detail the progress of events to his audience.
  • 4.2A section of text spoken by the chorus in drama.
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    • So rhetorical techniques, such as choruses and verses and meter have always been very important.
    • The film version is slightly expurgated (eliminating the play's chorus), but otherwise faithfully maintains Marlowe's poetry.
    • The play's second chorus, with its explicit denunciation of ‘rash’ and ‘heady’ conclusion, resonates significantly beyond the specific circumstance of ‘this tale of Herod's end’.
  • 5A device used with an amplified musical instrument to give the impression that more than one instrument is being played: [as modifier]: a chorus pedal
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    • The only thing that places it as an early 80s artifact is the sound of guitars squeezed through chorus pedals.
    • In those days, it always had a bit of chorus pedal on it, which made the bass sound a little thicker.
    • Lead singer enjoyed using her chorus pedal while the lead guitarist couldn't stop creating textures and backward-sounding leads with his volume pedal.

verb (choruses, chorusing, chorused)

[with object] Back to top  
  • (Of a group of people) say the same thing at the same time: [with direct speech]: ‘Morning, Sister,’ the nurses chorused
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    • The crowd, chorusing its approval, evidently felt it was safe to start the customary Mexican wave, and Pierce, basking in her new - found serenity, scored herself a few brownie points by joining in.
    • More than 40,000 chorused it back at them when Kris Boyd regained his scoring touch to give the home side a lead they never squandered.
    • Caught up in the enthusiasm, we all chorused a hearty ‘Hallelujah!’


mid 16th century (denoting a character speaking the prologue of a play): from Latin, from Greek khoros.

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