Definition of choir in English:



  • 1An organized group of singers, typically one that takes part in church services or performs regularly in public.

    ‘the Baptist choir’
    • ‘In addition, few church musicians expose their choirs to the vast choral literature of Psalms settings that is readily available.’
    • ‘There will be gospel singers, choirs and the service will close with a freefall parachute display followed by a Borough picnic in the Park, with street theatre entertainment and a variety of ethnic foods on sale.’
    • ‘To supplement his income, he taught private voice lessons in his home and sang in a church choir.’
    • ‘Many people sang in school or church choirs or in choral societies.’
    • ‘Most performing choruses are male, although there are also women's choirs that sing at church services.’
    • ‘Perhaps the majority of her inspiration came from her mother, who was a soloist in the church choir and a skilled musical theater performer.’
    • ‘He soon became our church organist and also helped with the church choir.’
    • ‘And all of these families are the ones who buy the concert tickets, support the performing organizations and sing in their church choirs.’
    • ‘Blackwell has degrees in physics and in divinity, and practical musical experience in directing a church choir.’
    • ‘Ever had been voted the strongest singer in the church choir last year.’
    • ‘Now there are all kinds of arguments for and against having adult women singers in a church choir.’
    • ‘Petitioners point to music fees that may prevent youth or community orchestras, or church choirs, from performing some 20th century music.’
    • ‘At the back of the church were a robed choir and musicians making a quartet of stringed instruments.’
    • ‘Ms Dow believed that you should sing everything and that sometimes involved working with church choirs.’
    • ‘She would have insisted on having an elaborate church service with a choir, minister and a thousand attendees.’
    • ‘As usual, a number of visiting choirs will perform at church services on Sunday - the final day of the festival.’
    • ‘I had been invited to sing in a church choir by my friend, the organist's daughter.’
    • ‘She is currently teaching at WVU's Community Music School and is a church organist / choir director.’
    • ‘For the services the church choir, as usual, was second to none.’
    • ‘Special thanks to the organist and choirs in both churches and to the children's choir from St. Fiacc's NS and the young musicians from Killeshin.’
    singers, chorus, chorale
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1One of two or more subdivisions of a choral group performing together.
      ‘his famous Spem in alium for eight five-part choirs’
      • ‘Choral hymns sung in four-part harmony by church choirs are commonly performed during secular and church-related events.’
      • ‘As well as performing items from their own repertoires, both choirs will sing together on two pieces.’
      • ‘A well-known but comparatively rare example in English music is Tallis's Spem in alium, for 40 voices in eight five-part choirs.’
      • ‘Barbara T remembers the St Patrick's concert at which the choirs from the Catholic schools sang together dressed in long white muslin frocks with green shamrock crowns on their heads.’
    2. 1.2The part of a cathedral or large church between the altar and the nave, used by the choir and clergy.
      • ‘With the rest of my mind however, I stared into the pools of color cast in the choir loft by the stained glass window and let my thoughts go where they would.’
      • ‘Brown also does not know the difference between a nave and a choir in church architecture.’
      • ‘One of the abbey's most famous features is the 14th century Washington Window, which is to be found high up in the choir area near the high altar.’
      • ‘And the clerestory windows of the choir, glazed with large standing figures, are virtually intact.’
      • ‘The new choir and organ loft will create a useful space underneath for a vestry with a secure area for valuables, kitchens, toilets and storage space.’
      • ‘As in the east screen at Naumburg, doors leading into the choir flank the altar.’
      • ‘It's nothing like the movies where the monks have an ancient cathedral with stain glass and a choir.’
      • ‘To the west, extending into the modern graveyard, are parts of the nave and choir, while north of the church is the site of the twelve-sided chapter house and the cloisters.’
      • ‘The will of the college's founder, Henry VI, specified steps and stated that the high altar should be raised three feet above the choir floor.’
      • ‘Women, he warned, should not approach the altar in the choir - except to take Communion.’
      • ‘There was possibly a sense that in comparison to the magnificent new transepts and nave the choir itself, once so widely acclaimed, was no longer splendid enough.’
      • ‘The beauty of a cathedral choir offers sanctuary from the moisture and texture of a cobbled street.’
      • ‘It was a French architect, William of Sens, who was called in to rebuild the choir of Canterbury Cathedral after the fire of 1174.’
      • ‘His final commission, in the last years of his life, was for the eight bronze torch-bearing angels in the choir of the Cathedral.’
    3. 1.3A group of instruments of one family playing together.
      ‘a clarinet choir’
      • ‘Tuition is available in all instruments, cello and Irish Harp now available, choir and orchestra, from 4 year olds to adults.’
      • ‘The host school itself has six groups taking part a brass band, brass ensemble, junior brass trio and brass quintet, as well as a wind band and a clarinet choir.’
      • ‘I made my way around the room, hugging goodbye to various choir people, debaters, and soccer players and family, of course.’
      • ‘They are on original instruments with small choirs, wonderfully balanced, and some of the finest Bach available.’
      • ‘They had clarinet choir today and he hated the fact that this had to happen to their Contra Player and not him, who it was intended for, but she seemed to be fine.’
      • ‘Next to his commitment to his children, grandchildren and family, his golf and his choir practice were two very important elements of a very active life.’
      • ‘The company intends for the mics to be used on acoustic instruments and choirs, as well as drum overheads and percussion.’
      • ‘The children, who are either orphans or are from very poor families, are lucky to be chosen to join the choir with more than 1,000 auditioning to join.’


Middle English quer, quere, from Old French quer, from Latin chorus (see chorus). The spelling change in the 17th century was due to association with Latin chorus and modern French choeur.