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Derived from late Middle English queristre, from an Anglo-Norman variant of Old French cueriste, from cuer (see Middle French cuer). Equivalent to choir +‎ -ster.



chorister (plural choristers)

  1. A singer in a choir.
    • c. 1503–1512, John Skelton, Ware the Hauke; republished in John Scattergood, editor, John Skelton: The Complete English Poems, 1983, OCLC 8728872, lines 122–124, page 65:
      These be my querysters
      To helpe me to synge,
      My hawkes to mattens rynge!
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter V, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071:
      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.
    None of the new choristers can sing in tune but they will learn soon enough.
  2. A director or leader of a choral group.
    Jane was the chorister of her congregation's choir, and that occupied much of her time on the weekends.