What does orchestra mean?

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

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

    Etymology: [L. orchestra, Gr. , orig., the place for the chorus of dancers, from to dance: cf. F. orchestre.]

  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.

    Etymology: [L. orchestra, Gr. , orig., the place for the chorus of dancers, from to dance: cf. F. orchestre.]


  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 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. Daniel Ayala:

    I tell my students I don't ask and I don't care where you come from, our identity is through our orchestra. It's what gives us a sense of belonging. It's the music and playing together in harmony that's the most important thing.

  2. Roger Daltrey:

    We're old men now...we can't go out there and pretend it's going to be anywhere like we were 40, 50 years ago, adding the orchestra...can elevate the music into a place where it feels kind of grown up...(but) people mustn't think just because there's an orchestra with The Who that it's going to be watered down. We'll be playing exactly full throttle like we usually do.

  3. Leonard Bernstein:

    I'm not interested in having an orchestra sound like itself. I want it to sound like the composer.

  4. Ivo Pogorelić:

    First, technical perfection as something natural. Second, an insight into the development of the piano sound, as perfected by the pianist-composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, composers who understood the piano both as a human voice ... and as an orchestra with which they could produce a variety of colors. Third, the need to learn how to use every aspect of our new instruments, which are richer in sound. Fourth, the importance of differentiation.

  5. Paul Kantner:

    We are an orchestra without rules, by the time Grace got with us, I'd just throw the song out on the stage and (say) sing, everybody!

Images & Illustrations of orchestra

  1. orchestraorchestraorchestraorchestraorchestra

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Translations for orchestra

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    an exhilarating psychological state of pride and optimism; an absence of depression
    • A. abandon
    • B. serendipity
    • C. hodgepodge
    • D. elation

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