What does orchestra mean?

Definitions for orchestra
ˈɔr kə strə, -kɛs trəor·ches·tra

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word orchestra.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. orchestranoun

    a musical organization consisting of a group of instrumentalists including string players

  2. orchestranoun

    seating on the main floor in a theater


  1. Orchestranoun

    The space in the main floor of a theater in which the audience sits; also, the forward spectator section of the main floor, in distinction from the parterre, which is the rear section of the main floor.

  2. Orchestranoun

    The space in a theater between the stage and the audience; -- originally appropriated by the Greeks to the chorus and its evolutions, afterward by the Romans to persons of distinction, and by the moderns to a band of instrumental musicians. Now commonly called orchestra pit, to distinguish it from the section of the main floor occupied by spectators.


  1. orchestranoun

    A large group of musicians who play together on various instruments, usually including some from strings, woodwind, brass and/or percussion; the instruments played by such a group.

  2. orchestranoun

    A semicircular space in front of the stage used by the chorus in Ancient Greek and Hellenistic theatres.

  3. orchestranoun

    The area in a theatre or concert hall where the musicians sit, immediately in front of and below the stage, sometimes (also) used by other performers.


  1. Orchestra

    An orchestra (; Italian: [orˈkɛstra]) is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families.


  1. orchestra

    An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typically composed of string, brass, woodwinds, and percussion sections, led by a conductor. It performs symphonic music and can consist of 40 to 100 or more musicians, depending on the composition. The various sections of an orchestra work in harmony to produce a wide range of musical notes and complex soundscapes.


  1. Orchestra

    An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus. The orchestra grew by accretion throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, but changed very little in composition during the course of the 20th century. A smaller-sized orchestra for this time period is called a chamber orchestra. A full-size orchestra may sometimes be called a "symphony orchestra" or "philharmonic orchestra"; these modifiers do not necessarily indicate any strict difference in either the instrumental constitution or role of the orchestra, but can be useful to distinguish different ensembles based in the same city. A symphony orchestra will usually have over eighty musicians on its roster, in some cases over a hundred, but the actual number of musicians employed in a particular performance may vary according to the work being played and the size of the venue. A leading chamber orchestra might employ as many as fifty musicians; some are much smaller than that. Orchestras can also be found in schools. The term concert orchestra may sometimes be used —no distinction is made on size of orchestra by use of this term, although their use is generally distinguished as for live concert. As such they are commonly chamber orchestras.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Orchestra

    or′kes-tra, n. in the Greek theatre, the place where the chorus danced: now the part of a theatre or concert-room in which the musicians are placed: the performers in an orchestra.—ns. Orchē′sis, the art of dancing or rhythmical movement of the body; Orchesog′raphy, the theory of dancing.—adjs. Or′chestral, Orches′tric, of or pertaining to an orchestra: performed in an orchestra.—v.t. Or′chestrāte, to arrange for an orchestra.—ns. Orchestrā′tion, the arrangement of music for an orchestra: instrumentation; Orches′trion, a musical instrument of the barrel-organ kind, designed to imitate an orchestra. [L.,—Gr. orchēstraorchesthai, to dance.]

Editors Contribution

  1. orchestra

    A group of musicians and singers united with a conductor to create music and song.

    The orchestra were amazing, the joy and light from the smile and hearts was a sight for joyful eyes.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 17, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. orchestra

    Song lyrics by orchestra -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by orchestra on the Lyrics.com website.

Etymology and Origins

  1. Orchestra

    A Greek term applied to the place in the theatre allotted to the chorus of the dancers. Among the moderns it expresses the place assigned to the instrumentalists.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'orchestra' in Nouns Frequency: #2087

How to pronounce orchestra?

How to say orchestra in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of orchestra in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of orchestra in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of orchestra in a Sentence

  1. Ahmad Naser Sarmast:

    The formation of the orchestra is an achievement in itself, i WILL NEVER ACCEPT DEFEAT.

  2. Mary McColl:

    When we cry, there are tears, sometimes our noses run. Sometimes when we sing or are yelling, we spit and that lands on other actors, or it might land on the orchestra pit. And we are doing that eight times a week.

  3. Max Lucado:

    A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

  4. Barbara Beninato:

    It’s just a really neat town. We’re lucky that the arts community — both visual, theater and our orchestra — is very vibrant and well-supported. she said, ‘I’m never going to live in Rome.’ Guess where she lives?

  5. John Krasinski:

    [Director Rob Marshall] just turned to the window, cued the song, the orchestra started playing, and Emily started singing, and I just immediately wept, it was really wild. It was like finding out that your wife can levitate.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for orchestra

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for orchestra »


Find a translation for the orchestra definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"orchestra." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 12 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/orchestra>.

Discuss these orchestra definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for orchestra? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    reading carefully with intent to remember
    A perusal
    B contribution
    C endeavor
    D guts

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for orchestra: