Definition of chorus in English:



  • 1A part of a song that is repeated after each verse, typically by more than one singer.

    • ‘It's a powerful song, whose repeat chorus has done more against police brutality than a quorum of ombudsmen could have achieved.’
    • ‘An anthemic song with a big chorus, and an infectious spring in its step, the number demonstrated Rooster's readiness to have fun with a big riff.’
    • ‘The hymn should be no more than three verses - although writers can have a chorus which is repeated after each of the three verses.’
    • ‘It's interesting too, that people remember the chorus rather than the verses of popular songs.’
    • ‘For me, the highlight of the song was neither in the verses nor the chorus, but rather in the interlude featuring Al Green.’
    • ‘Big sing-a-long choruses and catchy lyrics drive this effort.’
    • ‘This means you won't find any verse/chorus/verse / chorus three-minute pop songs here ladies and gentlemen.’
    • ‘I could sing the first verse and the chorus of the song, I could remember her husband's name.’
    • ‘Martin and Jack played for almost two hours, and then they started repeating the chorus of the last song, except with free-styled lyrics, over and over and over again.’
    • ‘The group does not try to cram three verses and choruses into the frame of each song; they experiment freely with song structure.’
    • ‘This one is old school Coldplay again, all lovey-dovey lyrics and big sweeping anthemic choruses.’
    • ‘There are verses and choruses, and the songs are tightly edited, and rarely ramble.’
    • ‘For most people these days, melody is not a cool thing, but for me, the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Aerosmith, they were all about big choruses.’
    • ‘Anne wasn't familiar with the song, but by the third time the chorus was repeated, she was able to join in.’
    • ‘But it is a rock sound, with balladic verses and powerful harmonised choruses, that wins through.’
    • ‘But much worse than this, lurking in the depths of my mind are all sorts of verses and choruses from show tunes and, in weak moments, I find myself singing them under my breath.’
    • ‘Their choruses are charming sing-along rhymes that will repeat themselves endlessly in your head after only one listening.’
    • ‘These are real songs here, with choruses and verses and vocals wrapped around each other.’
    • ‘They realize the inherent reliability of hooks and melody and of strong verses and even stronger choruses.’
    • ‘The song's arrangement is nearly perfect with Branch slowly building the first verse into a bombastic chorus in which she asks the song's title repeatedly.’
    • ‘Short and sweet, the songs spin around catchy choruses; witty verses are largely absent.’
    refrain, burden, strain
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    1. 1.1 A piece of choral music, especially one forming part of a larger work such as an opera or oratorio.
      • ‘The Leonin pieces alternate ensemble choruses of chant with organum passages which feature a solo voice floating melodic lines over the drone.’
      • ‘Although also without recitative, there were arioso pieces and instrumental symphonies, with choruses which included chorales.’
      • ‘Three of the Latin choruses are directly followed by Lutheran chorales (their tunes taken from the St Matthew and St John Passions).’
      • ‘The big choruses in The Creation are utterly magnificent, but so much else is so brilliantly executed it's hard to single out highlights.’
      • ‘There are some great arias, fine ensemble pieces, and choruses whose effect is visceral.’
      • ‘And when the patron informed me that yes, he did have a room for tonight, the chorus from Handel's Messiah erupted in my head.’
      • ‘The music is based on incidental choruses Bernstein composed for an adaptation of the Jean Anouilh play, The Lark, about the trial of Joan of Arc.’
      • ‘These words had already been heard in many an opera (notably in a beautiful chorus from Rameau's Pygmalion).’
      • ‘In their tenderness and intimacy, their heartfelt experience of Jesus' final hours, and their prayerful, awestruck participation in the mercy poured out in him, the chorales and choruses became prayer.’
      • ‘Short choruses were an important element in the masque and Restoration stage works, and it was on this tradition that Handel built his new genre, the English oratorio.’
      • ‘The music is superb, noble and inspiring, especially the choruses which form the backbone of the work.’
      • ‘Further out, up to her waist, an elderly matron in a voluminous one-piece holds a walkman in upraised arms and belts out the chorus to an opera.’
      • ‘‘Der Erste Psalm’ is a joyous and intrinsically motivated work with some memorable string writing and big bold choruses that are surely written to stick in the memory!’
      • ‘Also, the music is more sectional, with clearly defined arias, ensemble pieces, and choruses.’
    2. 1.2 A simple song for group singing in informal Christian worship.
      • ‘Classes began with a 'circle-up' time where everyone often held hands standing in a big circle, sang a simple worship chorus, shared prayer requests, and prayed.’
      • ‘They are the ones who find it difficult to stand through chorus after chorus.’
      • ‘Some use musical instruments while others do not; some sing only Psalms while others use hymns and choruses.’
      • ‘The challenge that new, emerging forms of church present for the mainline is not as simple as how we might integrate praise choruses into the 11:00 A.M. service.’
      • ‘The chorus 'I love to worship you' was composed by Paul Cowderoy and performed by the worship team of the Centre.’
      • ‘Worship is a mix of 'good-old' hymns and the more modern choruses led by the music group, suitable for all ages.’
      • ‘She wrote choruses that were sung in her church.’
      • ‘When they return to the front of the church, they sing this chorus.’
      • ‘For them, pop praise choruses and a chatty atmosphere have become normal.’
      • ‘Worship is a mix of the good old traditional hymns and the more modern choruses led by the music group.’
      • ‘Would he prefer high-church liturgy or low-church choruses?’
      • ‘He photocopied the conference selected Hymns given to him and taught his congregation to sing hymns and not choruses.’
      • ‘It is also our intention to include a section at the back of the book consisting of songs and choruses.’
      • ‘The twentieth century has seen a revolution in Christian music, with the rise almost to ubiquity of new kinds of worship song and chorus.’
      • ‘We went from these rich hymns to Gospel songs with even less Bible, and then on to choruses which have even less Bible.’
  • 2A large organized group of singers, especially one that performs together with an orchestra or opera company.

    • ‘I suspect he was waiting for the right chorus and choral director; he found them both in Robert Shaw and his Chorale.’
    • ‘The orchestra, soloists and chorus certainly earned those cheers.’
    • ‘The chorus and distant orchestra are also very much up to Frandsen's fast tempi, very difficult in a live performance of such a demanding work.’
    • ‘Back in Prague for a couple of days, we heard the male chorus in Smetana's opera The Bartered Bride sing its praises.’
    • ‘The choruses and orchestra are well-drilled - too prim, really, for Bizet's drama, which needs more grit.’
    • ‘Look at the failures of conductors and orchestras and choruses to perform the Missa Solemnis.’
    • ‘The chorus negotiated Britten's difficult choral lines with conviction and the orchestra rose to the challenge of interpreting Britten's demanding score.’
    • ‘The chorus and orchestra of La Chapelle Royale directed by Philippe Herreweghe reveal the intrinsic delight of dedicated performers.’
    • ‘Rossini expert Scimone makes a good case for the score, and the chorus and orchestra add to the professionalism.’
    • ‘The two-hour work demands almost 500 performers, including five sopranos, eight other soloists, an augmented orchestra and massed choruses (four of them in this new recording).’
    • ‘He reportedly disliked the Turin chorus and orchestra, and so it was supplemented by singers and musicians from La Scala.’
    • ‘As well as the music, the barbershop chorus will also hold a raffle in The Strand to raise funds for equipment and uniforms for the coming year.’
    • ‘Under Mackerras's direction, singers, the huge chorus and orchestra played this in convincing, passionate fashion.’
    • ‘From 1786, they presented an oratorio each year, either at Lent or Christmas, for which the chorus and orchestra of the court were engaged.’
    • ‘The balance between the orchestra, the choruses, and the soloists is excellent - the engineering helps.’
    • ‘The chorus and orchestra respond well to Gergiev's baton, as usual, and Philips' sound is the best in the series so far.’
    • ‘The Druids' choral scenes were given rousing voice by a splendid chorus.’
    • ‘Danielpour demands much from his chorus in this piece, asking them to convey a range of passions associated with human suffering.’
    • ‘Last year I saw this rather elaborate piece that had a chorus in addition to a full orchestra.’
    • ‘The singers, choruses and orchestras that Britten conducts are among the finest that were ever recorded with a veritable array of British talent that one only dreams of assembling.’
    choir, ensemble, choral group, choristers, vocalists, singers, group of singers
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    1. 2.1 A group of singers or dancers performing together in a supporting role in a stage musical or opera.
      • ‘When both the chorus and the dancers are on the steps they cannot be told apart.’
      • ‘Then the kids all have to vote on whether a girl who hits a boy who talks trash to her can still be in the chorus of the spring musical.’
      • ‘Hollywood today mourned the death of actress Joan Crawford, the chorus dancer who became a glamour queen.’
      • ‘A native of the town is bringing together special guests, choruses and dancers to perform all the big hits from the West End musicals.’
      • ‘With delightful support from a gorgeous cast of Munchkins, dancers and chorus, this Yellow Brick Road is well worth a journey.’
      • ‘All the dancers in a chorus take up the last line.’
      • ‘Now, with special guests, chorus and dancers, he is once again taking centre stage in his own professional show which features many of the classics from the West End musicals.’
      • ‘Simon is now several years and several pantos down the road from his 1984 debut as a chorus dancer.’
      • ‘Marty puts her on stage, all right - as a chorus dancer.’
      • ‘The amateur dramatic society are desperately seeking men for the chorus of its April musical Anything Goes.’
      • ‘With an excellent chorus, good female support and two dazzling male leads I cannot fault this show.’
      • ‘She was unique in her day because most female dancers danced in the chorus and there were very few female solo performers.’
      • ‘The most masterfully executed, Reflex Action also has the largest cast and includes, among other things, a musical number and a chorus line.’
      • ‘They made 42nd Street - the story of a girl plucked from the chorus to the lead role in a Broadway musical - more than just a fluffy fairy tale.’
      • ‘They were hatcheck and cigarette girls, dancers in chorus lines, singers with small bands and combos, and glamorous frequenters of night spots.’
      • ‘Those on stage were excellent, from Carney and Brennan in the lead roles, to the chorus line of servants in the upper-crust Lord household.’
      • ‘It was a truly great performance from the former student who once filled the ranks of the chorus in a musical put on in the local school.’
      • ‘Some of the dancers in the chorus do have the appropriate raunchiness, and all are technically up to the task.’
      • ‘Bright, colourful and entertaining with an excellent cast, chorus and dancers and the Sunbeams are, as always delightful and almost steal the show.’
      • ‘Large choruses of dancers, their individuality consumed in replicas of the sculptured, stylized masks, cut swathes of movement patterns across the levels and widths of the stage.’
      chorus line, dance troupe
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  • 3A simultaneous utterance of something by many people.

    ‘a growing chorus of complaint’
    ‘“Good morning,” we replied in chorus’
    • ‘We beeline to Church Street and do the same thing, blowing through red lights and garnering a chorus of catcalls from the local street life.’
    • ‘Failing to achieve this task in rhythm to the music releases a chorus of boos and jeers, and if it continues for too long, ends your game immediately.’
    • ‘This morning, the President added his voice to the chorus of caution against New Orleans moving too fast.’
    • ‘North Wiltshire MP James Gray has added his voice to the growing chorus of dismay over plans to build a tunnel under the M4 from Swindon to Wootton Bassett.’
    • ‘The chorus of wails prepared me for the arduous battles which lay ahead.’
    • ‘American novelists have done their bit to swell the chorus of lamentation.’
    • ‘Bill saw the tank thundering towards his outfit and heard his own voice join a chorus of warning cries as its guns began firing.’
    • ‘The moderator of the Church of Scotland has added his voice to the chorus of concern.’
    • ‘Young people are adding their voice to the chorus of anger over plans to axe Swindon post offices.’
    • ‘The Times joined a growing chorus of support.’
    • ‘Bank of England governor Sir Eddie George added his voice to the growing chorus of optimism.’
    • ‘Some Labour backbenchers have added their voices to the chorus of condemnation.’
    • ‘Experts on each of the topics covered add their voices to the rising chorus of resistance to commodification, deregulation and global corporatization.’
    • ‘If you love your freedom and your rights, you will add your voice to the growing chorus of opposition.’
    • ‘But the chorus of whines about interference in the internal affairs of the country is 90 per cent arrant hypocrisy.’
    • ‘On Monday, the company added its voice to the growing chorus of dissent.’
    • ‘Dr Rycroft, an expert in classical music, joined the chorus against a statutory limit on the volume of orchestras.’
    • ‘Refusing to add her voice to the chorus of disapproval against the singer's foray into children's books she admitted she couldn't see it being a major contender to Harry Potter.’
    • ‘German international Lothar Matthaus added his voice to the chorus of approval.’
    • ‘I wish to add my voice to the growing chorus of protest at the damage our Prime Minister is causing to the country's image as a tolerant, egalitarian and fair society.’
    in unison, together, simultaneously, at the same time, as one
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  • 4(in ancient Greek tragedy) a group of performers who comment on the main action, typically speaking and moving together.

    • ‘In Greek theatre the chorus always marched onto stage in a square, but danced in circular mode.’
    • ‘In Greek tragedy the chorus commented on the action, but in Feathers of Peace there is no commentator giving moral comment.’
    • ‘All Greek tragedies have choruses, who take on the roles of observers, narrators, commentators and critics.’
    • ‘Maricas was an attack on Hyperbolus, comparable with Aristophanes's attack on Cleon in Knights; like Aristophanes' Lysistrata, it had two opposed choruses.’
    • ‘In addition, Wagner is also quite explicit in describing his eloquent orchestra as having a role, in its commentary on the action, as equivalent to that of the chorus in Greek drama.’
    1. 4.1 A single character who speaks the prologue and other linking parts of the play, especially in Elizabethan drama.
      • ‘He is also accustomed to introduce a character as a sort of chorus, to detail the progress of events to his audience.’
      • ‘Four individual characters and a chorus add flesh and blood to Sircar's play.’
      • ‘The play begins with a sonnet spoken by the chorus and in its poetry, language, and plot reflects the sonnet craze of the 1590s, from which period Shakespeare's own sequence dates.’
    2. 4.2 A section of text spoken by the chorus in drama.
      • ‘The film version is slightly expurgated (eliminating the play's chorus), but otherwise faithfully maintains Marlowe's poetry.’
      • ‘So rhetorical techniques, such as choruses and verses and meter have always been very important.’
      • ‘I've been thinking of doing a play, mostly in prose with verse choruses, and have got bits of the story mapped out.’
      • ‘The play's second chorus, with its explicit denunciation of ‘rash’ and ‘heady’ conclusion, resonates significantly beyond the specific circumstance of ‘this tale of Herod's end’.’
  • 5A device used with an amplified musical instrument to give the impression that more than one instrument is being played.

    as modifier ‘a chorus pedal’
    • ‘Lead singer enjoyed using her chorus pedal while the lead guitarist couldn't stop creating textures and backward-sounding leads with his volume pedal.’
    • ‘The only thing that places it as an early 80s artifact is the sound of guitars squeezed through chorus pedals.’
    • ‘In those days, it always had a bit of chorus pedal on it, which made the bass sound a little thicker.’
    • ‘An effects section with chorus, flanging and delay can accommodate external signals in addition to those generated by the synth.’


  • (of a group of people) say the same thing at the same time.

    with direct speech ‘“Morning, Father,” the children chorused’
    ‘they chorused a noisy amen’
    • ‘At White Hart Lane, the fans chorused their support for Ferguson.’
    • ‘‘Oh,’ they chorused, faces bright with recognition.’
    • ‘‘Amen,’ everyone chorused as John began to play the chorus ‘Shout to the Lord’’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the London School of Economics and the Institute of Directors have also chorused their disapproval of the Bill over the last week.’
    • ‘They bemoaned their failure to pick up English as fast as their children could, plaintively chorusing, ‘Spanish is written the way you say it!’’
    • ‘‘Thank you uncle, thank you uncle,’ they chorused.’
    • ‘‘It has been a very rewarding experience for us,’ they chorused.’
    • ‘The council has also been criticised by many for repeatedly chorusing its catchphrase of making Hull a Top Ten city.’
    • ‘‘Bye, Vicky,’ the rest of the carriage chorused, almost as one.’
    • ‘The crowd, chorusing its approval, evidently felt it was safe to start the customary Mexican wave, and Pierce, basking in her new - found serenity, scored herself a few brownie points by joining in.’
    • ‘‘Thanks for inviting us, Lee,’ Connie added, and the others chorused their thanks as well.’
    • ‘On my first trip to an American academic conference I asked a group of scholars what was the latest critical fashion. ‘New Historicism’ they chorused; read Greenblatt.’
    • ‘Inspired by the mushrooming millionaires of Silicon Valley and the soaring Nasdaq stock market in the U.S., experts and officials chorused that Asia's future was on the Internet.’
    • ‘‘Don't worry, Father,’ they chorused in unison.’
    • ‘‘Long Live the Pope,’ the crowd chorused as the Pontiff passed by.’
    • ‘Many of the others chorused similar responses.’
    • ‘Caught up in the enthusiasm, we all chorused a hearty ‘Hallelujah!’’
    • ‘Goodbyes were still chorusing through her apartment as she walked down the hall.’
    • ‘More than 40,000 chorused it back at them when Kris Boyd regained his scoring touch to give the home side a lead they never squandered.’
    • ‘‘You've only been open a week,’ all four of us chorused.’
    chant, intone, croon, carol, chorus, warble, trill, pipe, quaver
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Mid 16th century (denoting a character speaking the prolog of a play): from Latin, from Greek khoros.