[ kwahyuh r ]
/ kwaɪər /


a company of singers, especially an organized group employed in church service.
any group of musicians or musical instruments; a musical company, or band, or a division of one: string choir.
  1. the part of a church occupied by the singers of the choir.
  2. the part of a cruciform church east of the crossing.
(in medieval angelology) one of the orders of angels.


professed to recite or chant the divine office: a choir monk.

verb (used with or without object)

to sing or sound in chorus.

Nearby words

  1. choctaw,
  2. choctawhatchee,
  3. chog,
  4. chogyal,
  5. choice,
  6. choir loft,
  7. choir school,
  8. choir-boy,
  9. choirboy,
  10. choirgirl

Origin of choir

1250–1300; Middle English quer < Old French cuer < Latin chorus chorus; replacing Old English chor choir < Latin

Related formschoir·like, adjective

Can be confusedchoir quire1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for choir

British Dictionary definitions for choir


/ (kwaɪə) /


an organized group of singers, esp for singing in church services
  1. the part of a cathedral, abbey, or church in front of the altar, lined on both sides with benches, and used by the choir and clergyCompare chancel
  2. (as modifier)choir stalls
a number of instruments of the same family playing togethera brass choir
Also called: choir organ one of the manuals on an organ controlling a set of soft sweet-toned pipesCompare great (def. 21), swell (def. 16)
any of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology
Archaic spelling: quire

Derived Formschoirlike, adjective

Word Origin for choir

C13 quer, from Old French cuer, from Latin chorus

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

Word Origin and History for choir



c.1300, queor "part of the church where the choir sings," from Old French cuer, quer "choir of a church (architectural); chorus of singers" (13c., Modern French choeur), from Latin chorus "choir" (see chorus). Meaning "band of singers" is c.1400, quyre. Re-spelled mid-17c. on Latin model.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper