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[kawr-uh s, kohr-] /ˈkɔr əs, ˈkoʊr-/
noun, plural choruses.
  1. a group of persons singing in unison.
  2. (in an opera, oratorio, etc.) such a group singing choral parts in connection with soloists or individual singers.
  3. a piece of music for singing in unison.
  4. a part of a song that recurs at intervals, usually following each verse; refrain.
simultaneous utterance in singing, speaking, shouting, etc.
the sounds so uttered:
a chorus of jeers.
  1. a company of dancers and singers.
  2. the singing, dancing, or songs performed by such a company.
  1. a lyric poem, believed to have been in dithyrambic form, that was sung and danced to, originally as a religious rite, by a company of persons.
  2. an ode or series of odes sung by a group of actors in ancient Greek drama.
  3. the group of actors that performed the chorus and served as major participants in, commentators on, or as a supplement to the main action of the drama.
  1. a group of actors or a single actor having a function similar to that of the Greek chorus, as in Elizabethan drama.
  2. the part of a play performed by such a group or individual.
verb (used with or without object), chorused, chorusing.
to sing or speak in chorus.
in chorus, in unison; with all speaking or singing simultaneously:
They responded in chorus to the minister's questions.
Origin of chorus
1555-65; < Latin < Greek chorós a dance, band of dancers and singers Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chorus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When Banstead took the chorus out to supper he had the ready repartee of his kind.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • Shall I sing the chorus now or would you prefer to hear it later.

  • Her gasp of astonishment was lost in the chorus of congratulatory cries.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • So they all called in chorus,—Fido and the other honest friends.

  • I know who's goin' to be there, an' set in the chorus an' sing alto.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for chorus


noun (pl) -ruses
a large choir of singers or a piece of music composed for such a choir
a body of singers or dancers who perform together, in contrast to principals or soloists
a section of a song in which a soloist is joined by a group of singers, esp in a recurring refrain
an intermediate section of a pop song, blues, etc, as distinct from the verse
(jazz) any of a series of variations on a theme
(in ancient Greece)
  1. a lyric poem sung by a group of dancers, originally as a religious rite
  2. an ode or series of odes sung by a group of actors
  1. (in classical Greek drama) the actors who sang the chorus and commented on the action of the play
  2. actors playing a similar role in any drama
  1. (esp in Elizabethan drama) the actor who spoke the prologue, etc
  2. the part of the play spoken by this actor
a group of people or animals producing words or sounds simultaneously
any speech, song, or other utterance produced by a group of people or animals simultaneously: a chorus of sighs, the dawn chorus
in chorus, in unison
to speak, sing, or utter (words, etc) in unison
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from Greek khoros
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chorus

1560s, from Latin chorus "a dance in a circle, the persons singing and dancing, the chorus of a tragedy," from Greek khoros "band of dancers or singers, dance, dancing ground," perhaps from PIE *gher- "to grasp, enclose," if the original sense of the Greek word is "enclosed dancing floor." Extension from dance to voice is because Attic drama arose from tales inserted in the intervals of the dance. In Attic tragedy, the khoros (of 15 or 24 persons) gave expression, between the acts, to the moral and religious sentiments evoked by the actions of the play.

When a Poet wished to bring out a piece, he asked a Chorus from the Archon, and the expenses, being great, were defrayed by some rich citizen (the khoregos): it was furnished by the Tribe and trained originally by the Poet himself" [Liddell & Scott]
Originally in English used in theatrical sense; meaning of "a choir" first attested 1650s. Meaning "the refrain of a song" (which the audience joins in singing) is 1590s. As a verb, 1703, from the noun. Chorus girl is 1894.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with chorus


see: in chorus
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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