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Borrowed from Latin chorus, from Ancient Greek χορός (khorós). Doublet of choir.


  • IPA(key): /ˈkɔːɹəs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɔːɹəs


chorus (plural choruses or chorusses or chori)

  1. A group of singers and dancers in the religious festivals of ancient Greece.
  2. A group of people in a play or performance who recite together.
  3. A group of singers; singing group who perform together.
    The performance of the chorus was awe-inspiring and exhilarating.
  4. A repeated part of a song.
    The catchiest part of most songs is the chorus.
    Synonym: refrain
  5. (jazz) The improvised solo section in a small group performance.
    • 2002, Thomas E. Larson, History and Tradition of Jazz, Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing, [1]
      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, Louis Armstrong: Master of Modernism, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., [2]
      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—constrast is far more important than unity.
  6. A setting or feature in electronic music that makes one voice sound like many.
  7. (figurative) A group of people or animals who make sounds together
    a chorus of crickets
    a chorus of whiners
  8. The noise made by such a group.
    a chorus of shouts and catcalls
    • 2011 October 1, Phil McNulty, “Everton 0–2 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport[3]:
      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 Atkinson departed to a deafening chorus of jeering from Everton's fans.
  9. (theater) An actor who reads the opening and closing lines of a play.


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.


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

  1. (transitive) To sing or recite in chorus.
    • 1826, Allan Cunningham, Paul Jones, Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, Vol. II, Chapter V, p. 125, [4]
      In the middle of the little woody bay, or rather basin, which received the scanty waters of the stream, an armed sloop lay at anchor, and he heard the din of license and carousal on board,—the hasty oath—the hearty laugh—and the boisterous song, chorussed by a score of rough voices, which made the bay re-echo.
    • 1953, "Two-Way Scrutiny" in Time, 22 June, 1953, [5]
      [] soon they streamed ashore, fresh-faced young sailormen in small and large parties directed by ship's officers and Russian embassy guides. They drove to London, to Salisbury Cathedral, to Windsor Castle, chorusing sea chanteys and waving at girls.
    • 1993, Wu Cheng'en, Journey to the West, translated by W. J. F. Jenner, Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, Chapter 75,
      The devilish host chorused a paean of victory as they swarmed back.
    • 1999, Simon Schama, Rembrandt's Eyes, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Part Four, Chapter Seven, part i, p. 315,
      Elsewhere, within the walls of other charity houses, orphans' voices chorused hymns or recitations from Scripture []
  2. (transitive) To say in unison; to express in unison.
    • 1893, Lewis Carroll [pseudonym; Charles Lutwidge Dodgson], “Jabbering and Jam”, in Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, London; New York, N.Y.: Macmillan and Co., OCLC 1061866646, page 157:
      [...] I could not even affect to join in the stereotyped "Oh, thank you!" which was chorused around me.
    • 1945, George Orwell, Animal Farm, Chapter IX, [6]
      The animals crowded round the van. "Good-bye, Boxer!" they chorused, "good-bye!"
    • 1955, Evelyn E. Smith, "Weather Prediction" in Isaac Asimov, Terry Carr and Martin H. Greenberg (eds.), 100 Great Fantasy Short Stories, New York: Avon Books, 1984,
      The Cottons chorused grateful acknowledgement.
    • 1957, "The Quavering Chorus" in Time, 15 December, 1957, [7]
      From Peking to Berlin the rulers of the Communist world dutifully chorused delight at Khrushchev's coup.
    • 1981, Wole Soyinka, Aké: The Years of Childhood, Vintage, 1983, Chapter XIII, p. 194,
      Again the women chorussed their approval.
    • 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.
    • 2007, Dai Sijie, Once on a Moonless Night, translated by Adriana Hunter, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, Chapter 3,
      They jumped right up and, while they were suspended in the air, drove their bayonets into an imaginary enemy's throat, chorusing 'Kill! kill! kill!'
  3. (transitive) To echo (a particular sentiment).
    • 1849, Edgar Allan Poe, "Hop-Frog" [9]
      "Yes," said the King; "Come 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.
  4. (intransitive) To sing the chorus (of a song).
  5. (intransitive) To speak as if in chorus (about something).
    • 1933, "No Slice for Teachers" in Time, 14 August, 1933, [11]
      Six State Commissioners of Education gloomily chorused about retrenchments, pay cuts and shut-down schools in Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Washington, Massachusetts and Maine.
    • 1985, George Robertson, Hansard, 1 July, 1985, [12]
      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, [13]
      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.
  6. (intransitive) To echo in unison another person's words.
    • 1947, "Miracle Man" in Time, 20 October, 1947, [14]
      Then she shouted: "Viva our Lady of Grace," and the crowd chorused.
  7. (intransitive) (of animals) To make their cry 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.


  • (say in unison): duet

Related terms[edit]


Further reading[edit]




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



chorus m (uncountable)

  1. chorus

Usage notes[edit]

Used almost exclusively in the phrase faire chorus.

Derived terms[edit]




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



chorus m (genitive chorī); second declension

  1. chorus (all forms)


Second-declension noun.

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


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


  • 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, 1883–1887)
  • chorus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
  • Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[15], 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[16]
  • 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