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See also: chòir and chóir


A church choir

Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English quer, quere, from Old French quer, from Latin chorus, from Ancient Greek χορός (khorós, company of dancers or singers). Modern spelling influenced by chorus and Modern French chœur, making it the only English word where the digraph oi is pronounced /waɪ/. Doublet of chorus and hora.



English Wikipedia has an article on:

choir (plural choirs)

  1. A group of people who sing together; a company of people who are trained to sing together.
    The church choir practices Thursday nights.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Then everybody once more knelt, and soon the blessing was pronounced. The choir and the clergy trooped out slowly, […], down the nave to the western door. […] At a seemingly immense distance the surpliced group stopped to say the last prayer.
  2. (architecture) The part of a church where the choir assembles for song.
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      Here, in the transept and choir, where the service was being held, one was conscious every moment of an increasing brightness; colours glowing vividly beneath the circular chandeliers, and the rows of small lights on the choristers' desks flashed and sparkled in front of the boys' faces, deep linen collars, and red neckbands.
  3. (Christian angelology) One of the nine ranks or orders of angels.
    Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones are three of the choirs of angels.
  4. Set of strings (one per note) for a harpsichord.

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Related terms[edit]



choir (third-person singular simple present choirs or quires, present participle choiring or quiring, simple past and past participle choired or quired)

  1. (intransitive) To sing in concert.
    • 1859, The Presbyterian Magazine, volume 9, page 423:
      The great aim of this book is to secure congregational singing, which the churches must come to, at last, after a long interval of choiring.




Inherited from Middle French cheoir, from Old French cheoir, from older chedeir, from Late Latin cadēre, from Latin cadĕre, from Proto-Italic *kadō, from Proto-Indo-European *ḱh₂d- (to fall).



choir (defective) (past participle chu)

  1. (literary) to fall
    Synonym: tomber
    • 1640, Pierre Corneille, Horace, act 5, scene 3:
      L’abandonnerez-vous à l’infâme couteau
      Qui fait choir les méchants sous la main d’un bourreau ?
      Would you abandon him to the infamous blade
      Which makes the wicked fall under the headman's hand?
    • 1976, Serge Gainsbourg (lyrics and music), “Chez Max coiffeur pour hommes”, in L’homme à tête de chou:
      Puis sous le sirocco du séchoir
      Dans mes cheveux
      La petite garce laisse choir :
      "Je veux"
      Then under the sirocco of the dryer
      Into my hair
      The little lass let drop [the words]
      "I want [you]"


This is a defective verb, only conjugated in certain tenses.

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Further reading[edit]




choir m

  1. Lenited form of coir.

Old Irish[edit]




  1. Lenited form of coïr.