noun, plural cho·rus·es.
- a group of persons singing in unison.
- (in an opera, oratorio, etc.) such a group singing choral parts in connection with soloists or individual singers.
- a piece of music for singing in unison.
- a part of a song that recurs at intervals, usually following each verse; refrain.
- a company of dancers and singers.
- the singing, dancing, or songs performed by such a company.
- 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.
- an ode or series of odes sung by a group of actors in ancient Greek drama.
- 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.
- a group of actors or a single actor having a function similar to that of the Greek chorus, as in Elizabethan drama.
- the part of a play performed by such a group or individual.
verb (used with or without object), cho·rused, cho·rus·ing.
- chorus boy,
- chorus frog,
- chorus girl,
- chorus pedal,
Origin of chorus
noun plural -ruses
- a lyric poem sung by a group of dancers, originally as a religious rite
- an ode or series of odes sung by a group of actors
- (in classical Greek drama) the actors who sang the chorus and commented on the action of the play
- actors playing a similar role in any drama
- (esp in Elizabethan drama) the actor who spoke the prologue, etc
- the part of the play spoken by this actor
Word Origin 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.
see in chorus.