chorus

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The noun is borrowed from Medieval Latin chorus (church choir), Latin chorus (group of dancers and singers; dance), from Ancient Greek χορός (khorós, group of dancers and singers, choir, chorus; dance accompanied by song; round dance);[1] further etymology uncertain, perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰer- (to encircle, enclose) or *ǵʰoros. Doublet of choir.

The plural form chori is from Latin chorī, from Ancient Greek χοροί (khoroí).

The verb is derived from the noun.[2]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chorus (plural choruses or chorusses or chori)

  1. (Ancient Greece, historical)
    1. A group of singers and dancers in a theatrical performance or religious festival who commented on the main performance in speech or song.
      • 1603, Plutarch, “Why the Prophetesse Pythia Giveth No Answers Now from the Oracle in Verse or Meeter”, in Philemon Holland, transl., The Philosophie, Commonlie Called, The Morals [], London: [] Arnold Hatfield, OCLC 1051546006, page 1199:
        [W]ee would that the voice and dialect of the propheteſſe Pythia, reſembling the ſpeech of a Chorus in a tragedie from a ſcaffold, ſhould pronounce her anſwers not in ſimple, plaine, and triviall termes, without any grace to ſet them out, but with Poeticall magnificence of high and ſtately verſes, diſguiſed as it were with metaphors and figurative phraſes, yea, and that which more is, with ſound of flute and hautboies: []
    2. A song performed by the singers of such a group.
  2. (by extension, chiefly Britain, theater, historical) An actor who reads the prologue and epilogue of a play, and sometimes also acts as a commentator or narrator; also, a portion of a play read by this actor.
  3. A group of singers performing together; a choir; specifically, such a group singing together in a musical, an opera, etc., as distinct from the soloists; an ensemble.
    The performance of the chorus was awe-inspiring and exhilarating.
  4. (by extension) A group of people in a performance who recite together.
  5. An instance of singing by a group of people.
    • 1848, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], chapter I, in Harold, the Last of the Saxon Kings; [], volume I, 2nd edition, London: Richard Bentley, [], OCLC 852824569, book I (The Norman Visitor, the Saxon King, and the Danish Prophetess), page 6:
      But once out of sight of those fearful precincts, the psalm was forgotten, and again broke, loud, clear, and silvery, the joyous chorus.
  6. (figuratively)
    1. A group of people or animals who make sounds together.
      a chorus of crickets    a chorus of whiners
    2. The noise or sound made by such a group.
      a chorus of shouts and catcalls
      • 1848, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], chapter I, in Harold, the Last of the Saxon Kings; [], volume I, 2nd edition, London: Richard Bentley, [], OCLC 852824569, book I (The Norman Visitor, the Saxon King, and the Danish Prophetess), pages 18–19:
        As she came to the last line [of a song], her soft low voice seemed to awaken a chorus of sprightly horns and trumpets, and certain other wind instruments peculiar to the music of that day.
      • 2011 October 1, Phil McNulty, “Everton 0 – 2 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport[1], archived from the original on 6 September 2021:
        At the end of a frantic first 45 minutes, there was still time for Charlie Adam to strike the bar from 20 yards before referee [Martin] Atkinson departed to a deafening chorus of jeering from Everton's fans.
  7. (music)
    1. A piece of music, especially one in a larger work such as an opera, written to be sung by a choir in parts (for example, by sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses).
    2. A part of a song which is repeated between verses; a refrain.
      The catchiest part of most songs is the chorus.
      • 1751, [Tobias] Smollett, “An Account of Mr. Gamaliel Pickle. []”, in The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle [], volume I, London: Harrison and Co., [], published 1781, OCLC 316121541, page 10, column 1:
        [T]he commodore, the lieutenant, and landlord, joined in the chorus, repeating this elegant ſtanza: []
      • 1862, T[homas] Oliphant; John Thomas, arranger, “No. 15. Nos Galan. New Year’s Eve. [Deck the Halls]”, in Welsh Melodies: With Welsh and English Poetry, London: Addison, Hollier & Lucas, OCLC 1118307767, stanza 2, page 140:
        See the flowing bowl before us, / Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la! / Strike the harp and join the chorus. / Fa, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la!
    3. The main part of a pop song played after the introduction.
    4. A group of organ pipes or organ stops intended to be played simultaneously; a compound stop; also, the sound made by such pipes or stops.
    5. (often attributively) A feature or setting in electronic music that makes one instrument sound like many.
    6. (Christianity) A simple, often repetitive, song intended to be sung in a group during informal worship.
    7. (jazz) The improvised solo section in a small group performance.
      • 2002, Thomas E. Larson, History and Tradition of Jazz, Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing, →ISBN:
        Of additional interest is the riff in the second chorus, which was later copied by Joe Garland and recorded by the Glenn Miller Orchestra as "In the Mood," becoming the biggest hit of the Swing Era.
      • 2014, Thomas Brothers, “‘Some Kind of a God’”, in Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism, New York, N.Y.; London: W[illiam] W[arder] Norton & Company, →ISBN, page 299:
        Jazz solos in the 1920s are much more about variety and discontinuity than unity and coherence. The explosive introduction, the instrutable and tender scat-clarinet dialogue, the spritely piano chorus, and the majestic trumpet chorus—contrast is far more important than unity.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Verb[edit]

chorus (third-person singular simple present choruses, present participle chorusing or chorussing, simple past and past participle chorused or chorussed)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To sing (a song), express (a sentiment), or recite or say (words) in chorus.
      Synonym: (of two people) duet
    2. To express concurrence with (something said by another person); to echo.
      • 1849 March 17, Edgar Allan Poe, “Hop-Frog”, in The Works of the Late Edgar Allan Poe: [], volume II (Poems and Miscellanies), New York, N.Y.: J. S. Redfield, [], published 1850, OCLC 123306833, page 458:
        "Yes," said the king; "Come, Hop-Frog, lend us your assistance. Characters, my fine fellow; we stand in need of characters—all of us—ha! ha! ha!" and as this was seriously meant for a joke, his laugh was chorused by the seven.
    3. (rare) To provide (a song) with a chorus or refrain.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. To sing the chorus or refrain of a song.
    2. To sing, express, or say in, or as if in, unison.
      • 1748, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter XXX. Mr. Lovelace, to John Belford, Esq.”, in Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: [], volume VI, London: [] S[amuel] Richardson; [], OCLC 13631815, page 99:
        Then they all chorus'd upon me—Such a character as Miſs Harlowe's! cry'd one—A lady of ſo much generoſity and good ſenſe! another— []
      • 1933, "No Slice for Teachers" in Time, 14 August, 1933, [5]
        Six State Commissioners of Education gloomily chorused about retrenchments, pay cuts and shut-down schools in Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, Massachusetts and Maine.
      • 1945 August 17, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter IX, in Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, London: Secker & Warburg, OCLC 3655473; republished as Animal Farm (eBook no. 0100011h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg Australia, March 2008:
        The animals crowded round the van. "Good-bye, Boxer!" they chorused, "good-bye!"
      • 1985, George Robertson, Hansard, 1 July, 1985, [6]
        Without an abatement agreement there would have been no chorusing from the government about the great success and triumph that Fontainebleau represented for Britain.
      • 1986, Anthony Winkler, The Painted Canoe, University of Chicago Press, Chapter 2, p. 20, [7]
        Others in the crowded bus, having nothing better to do, took up the cry, and soon many of the higglers were chorusing about the ugliness of the fisherman playing dominoes.
      • 1998, George Galloway, Hansard, 25 November, 1998, [8]
        When I asked that question in the House recently, a number of Tel Aviv's little echoes in the Chamber chorused that Israel was a democracy.
    3. To echo in unison another person's words.
      • 1947, "Miracle Man" in Time, 20 October, 1947, [9]
        Then she shouted: "Viva our Lady of Grace," and the crowd chorused.
    4. Of animals: to make cries or sounds together.
      • 1987, Tanith Lee, Night's Sorceries, New York: Daw Books, p. 122,
        Then the cocks began to crow in the town beneath the hill, and the birds chorused in the fields, and a pale yellow poppy colored the east.
      • 1998, Italo Calvino, The Path to the Spiders' Nests, translated by Archibald Colquhoun, revised by Martin McLaughlin, Hopewell, NJ: The Ecco Press, 1998, Chapter Two, p. 51,
        The hens are now sleeping in rows on their perches in the coops, and the frogs are out of the water and chorusing away along the bed of the whole torrent, from source to mouth.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ chorus, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “chorus, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  2. ^ chorus, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, March 2019; “chorus, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin chorus, itself a borrowing from Ancient Greek χορός (khorós). Doublet of chœur.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chorus m (uncountable)

  1. chorus

Usage notes[edit]

Used almost exclusively in the phrase faire chorus.

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Ancient Greek χορός (khorós), a group of actors who recite and sing together.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chorus m (genitive chorī); second declension

  1. chorus (all forms)

Declension[edit]

Second-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative chorus chorī
Genitive chorī chorōrum
Dative chorō chorīs
Accusative chorum chorōs
Ablative chorō chorīs
Vocative chore chorī

Descendants[edit]

  • Catalan: cor
  • English: chorus
  • French: chorus
  • Irish: cór
  • German: Chor
  • Italian: coro
  • Old French: quer, cuer
  • Portuguese: coro
  • Romanian: cor
  • Russian: хор m (xor)
  • Spanish: coro
  • Welsh: côr

References[edit]

  • chorus in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • chorus in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • chorus in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • chorus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[10], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • the Chorus in Tragedy: caterva, chorus
    • a choric ode in a tragedy: carmen chori, canticum
  • chorus in The Perseus Project (1999) Perseus Encyclopedia[11]
  • chorus in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • chorus in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin

Portuguese[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English chorus. Doublet of coro.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

chorus m (plural chorus)

  1. (music) chorus (effect produced by mixing a signal with delayed and modulated copies of itself)