Definition of chorus in US English:

chorus

noun

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

    • ‘Anne wasn't familiar with the song, but by the third time the chorus was repeated, she was able to join in.’
    • ‘This one is old school Coldplay again, all lovey-dovey lyrics and big sweeping anthemic choruses.’
    • ‘The hymn should be no more than three verses - although writers can have a chorus which is repeated after each of the three verses.’
    • ‘These are real songs here, with choruses and verses and vocals wrapped around each other.’
    • ‘It's interesting too, that people remember the chorus rather than the verses of popular songs.’
    • ‘But it is a rock sound, with balladic verses and powerful harmonised choruses, that wins through.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Their choruses are charming sing-along rhymes that will repeat themselves endlessly in your head after only one listening.’
    • ‘I could sing the first verse and the chorus of the song, I could remember her husband's name.’
    • ‘For me, the highlight of the song was neither in the verses nor the chorus, but rather in the interlude featuring Al Green.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This means you won't find any verse/chorus/verse / chorus three-minute pop songs here ladies and gentlemen.’
    • ‘There are verses and choruses, and the songs are tightly edited, and rarely ramble.’
    • ‘It's a powerful song, whose repeat chorus has done more against police brutality than a quorum of ombudsmen could have achieved.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Big sing-a-long choruses and catchy lyrics drive this effort.’
    • ‘The group does not try to cram three verses and choruses into the frame of each song; they experiment freely with song structure.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Short and sweet, the songs spin around catchy choruses; witty verses are largely absent.’
    • ‘They realize the inherent reliability of hooks and melody and of strong verses and even stronger choruses.’
    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 music is superb, noble and inspiring, especially the choruses which form the backbone of the work.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Leonin pieces alternate ensemble choruses of chant with organum passages which feature a solo voice floating melodic lines over the drone.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The big choruses in The Creation are utterly magnificent, but so much else is so brilliantly executed it's hard to single out highlights.’
      • ‘Although also without recitative, there were arioso pieces and instrumental symphonies, with choruses which included chorales.’
      • ‘‘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!’
      • ‘There are some great arias, fine ensemble pieces, and choruses whose effect is visceral.’
      • ‘Three of the Latin choruses are directly followed by Lutheran chorales (their tunes taken from the St Matthew and St John Passions).’
      • ‘These words had already been heard in many an opera (notably in a beautiful chorus from Rameau's Pygmalion).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They are the ones who find it difficult to stand through chorus after chorus.’
      • ‘It is also our intention to include a section at the back of the book consisting of songs and choruses.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘The chorus 'I love to worship you' was composed by Paul Cowderoy and performed by the worship team of the Centre.’
      • ‘He photocopied the conference selected Hymns given to him and taught his congregation to sing hymns and not choruses.’
      • ‘When they return to the front of the church, they sing this chorus.’
      • ‘She wrote choruses that were sung in her church.’
      • ‘Worship is a mix of 'good-old' hymns and the more modern choruses led by the music group, suitable for all ages.’
      • ‘For them, pop praise choruses and a chatty atmosphere have become normal.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some use musical instruments while others do not; some sing only Psalms while others use hymns and choruses.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 2A large organized group of singers, especially one that performs together with an orchestra or opera company.

    • ‘Under Mackerras's direction, singers, the huge chorus and orchestra played this in convincing, passionate fashion.’
    • ‘I suspect he was waiting for the right chorus and choral director; he found them both in Robert Shaw and his Chorale.’
    • ‘The chorus and orchestra of La Chapelle Royale directed by Philippe Herreweghe reveal the intrinsic delight of dedicated performers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The balance between the orchestra, the choruses, and the soloists is excellent - the engineering helps.’
    • ‘Rossini expert Scimone makes a good case for the score, and the chorus and orchestra add to the professionalism.’
    • ‘Look at the failures of conductors and orchestras and choruses to perform the Missa Solemnis.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 Druids' choral scenes were given rousing voice by a splendid chorus.’
    • ‘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 respond well to Gergiev's baton, as usual, and Philips' sound is the best in the series so far.’
    • ‘Danielpour demands much from his chorus in this piece, asking them to convey a range of passions associated with human suffering.’
    • ‘He reportedly disliked the Turin chorus and orchestra, and so it was supplemented by singers and musicians from La Scala.’
    • ‘The choruses and orchestra are well-drilled - too prim, really, for Bizet's drama, which needs more grit.’
    • ‘Last year I saw this rather elaborate piece that had a chorus in addition to a full orchestra.’
    • ‘The orchestra, soloists and chorus certainly earned those cheers.’
    • ‘Back in Prague for a couple of days, we heard the male chorus in Smetana's opera The Bartered Bride sing its praises.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.
      • ‘Bright, colourful and entertaining with an excellent cast, chorus and dancers and the Sunbeams are, as always delightful and almost steal the show.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was unique in her day because most female dancers danced in the chorus and there were very few female solo performers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They were hatcheck and cigarette girls, dancers in chorus lines, singers with small bands and combos, and glamorous frequenters of night spots.’
      • ‘The amateur dramatic society are desperately seeking men for the chorus of its April musical Anything Goes.’
      • ‘Some of the dancers in the chorus do have the appropriate raunchiness, and all are technically up to the task.’
      • ‘The most masterfully executed, Reflex Action also has the largest cast and includes, among other things, a musical number and a chorus line.’
      • ‘Hollywood today mourned the death of actress Joan Crawford, the chorus dancer who became a glamour queen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With an excellent chorus, good female support and two dazzling male leads I cannot fault this show.’
      • ‘Marty puts her on stage, all right - as a chorus dancer.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Simon is now several years and several pantos down the road from his 1984 debut as a chorus dancer.’
      • ‘A native of the town is bringing together special guests, choruses and dancers to perform all the big hits from the West End musicals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When both the chorus and the dancers are on the steps they cannot be told apart.’
      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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If you love your freedom and your rights, you will add your voice to the growing chorus of opposition.’
    • ‘Bank of England governor Sir Eddie George added his voice to the growing chorus of optimism.’
    • ‘The chorus of wails prepared me for the arduous battles which lay ahead.’
    • ‘This morning, the President added his voice to the chorus of caution against New Orleans moving too fast.’
    • ‘Young people are adding their voice to the chorus of anger over plans to axe Swindon post offices.’
    • ‘American novelists have done their bit to swell the chorus of lamentation.’
    • ‘The moderator of the Church of Scotland has added his voice to the chorus of concern.’
    • ‘Dr Rycroft, an expert in classical music, joined the chorus against a statutory limit on the volume of orchestras.’
    • ‘Experts on each of the topics covered add their voices to the rising chorus of resistance to commodification, deregulation and global corporatization.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some Labour backbenchers have added their voices to the chorus of condemnation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Times joined a growing chorus of support.’
    • ‘Bill saw the tank thundering towards his outfit and heard his own voice join a chorus of warning cries as its guns began firing.’
    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 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.’
    • ‘In Greek tragedy the chorus commented on the action, but in Feathers of Peace there is no commentator giving moral comment.’
    • ‘Maricas was an attack on Hyperbolus, comparable with Aristophanes's attack on Cleon in Knights; like Aristophanes' Lysistrata, it had two opposed choruses.’
    • ‘All Greek tragedies have choruses, who take on the roles of observers, narrators, commentators and critics.’
    • ‘In Greek theatre the chorus always marched onto stage in a square, but danced in circular mode.’
    1. 4.1 A single character who speaks the prologue and other linking parts of the play, especially in Elizabethan drama.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 4.2 A section of text spoken by the chorus in drama.
      • ‘So rhetorical techniques, such as choruses and verses and meter have always been very important.’
      • ‘The film version is slightly expurgated (eliminating the play's chorus), but otherwise faithfully maintains Marlowe's poetry.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘I've been thinking of doing a play, mostly in prose with verse choruses, and have got bits of the story mapped out.’
  • 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’
    • ‘An effects section with chorus, flanging and delay can accommodate external signals in addition to those generated by the synth.’
    • ‘In those days, it always had a bit of chorus pedal on it, which made the bass sound a little thicker.’
    • ‘The only thing that places it as an early 80s artifact is the sound of guitars squeezed through chorus pedals.’
    • ‘Lead singer enjoyed using her chorus pedal while the lead guitarist couldn't stop creating textures and backward-sounding leads with his volume pedal.’

verb

[with object]
  • (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’
    • ‘They bemoaned their failure to pick up English as fast as their children could, plaintively chorusing, ‘Spanish is written the way you say it!’’
    • ‘At White Hart Lane, the fans chorused their support for Ferguson.’
    • ‘‘Thank you uncle, thank you uncle,’ they chorused.’
    • ‘Many of the others chorused similar responses.’
    • ‘‘Bye, Vicky,’ the rest of the carriage chorused, almost as one.’
    • ‘‘Long Live the Pope,’ the crowd chorused as the Pontiff passed by.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Caught up in the enthusiasm, we all chorused a hearty ‘Hallelujah!’’
    • ‘Goodbyes were still chorusing through her apartment as she walked down the hall.’
    • ‘‘Amen,’ everyone chorused as John began to play the chorus ‘Shout to the Lord’’
    • ‘The council has also been criticised by many for repeatedly chorusing its catchphrase of making Hull a Top Ten city.’
    • ‘‘Don't worry, Father,’ they chorused in unison.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Thanks for inviting us, Lee,’ Connie added, and the others chorused their thanks as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, the London School of Economics and the Institute of Directors have also chorused their disapproval of the Bill over the last week.’
    • ‘‘You've only been open a week,’ all four of us chorused.’
    • ‘‘It has been a very rewarding experience for us,’ they chorused.’
    • ‘‘Oh,’ they chorused, faces bright with recognition.’
    chant, intone, croon, carol, chorus, warble, trill, pipe, quaver
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Origin

Mid 16th century (denoting a character speaking the prolog of a play): from Latin, from Greek khoros.

Pronunciation

chorus

/ˈkôrəs//ˈkɔrəs/