Definition of ensemble in US English:

ensemble

noun

  • 1A group of musicians, actors, or dancers who perform together.

    ‘a Bulgarian folk ensemble’
    • ‘He especially liked the idea of joining an ensemble of actors who each discover new sides to themselves both comic and serious through their willingness to let it all go while they dance.’
    • ‘The entire ensemble played with precision and sensitivity.’
    • ‘Parents were able to stroll around the Music Service's headquarters and to watch the youngsters perform in their individual ensembles and orchestras.’
    • ‘The ensemble consists of three pianos, three harps, and three percussion players.’
    • ‘One of his strengths as a director here is that he has brought together an ensemble of great actors and his camera is not shy about letting their faces tell the story.’
    • ‘Some of the traditional ensembles performing at the Festival in the Desert were made up entirely of women.’
    • ‘The result is some of the finest ensemble acting ever found in a weekly television show.’
    • ‘I mean, it's an ensemble of fine actors, you know.’
    • ‘Backed by an ensemble of drummers, dancers and a guitarist, Thornhill explores the awakening spirit of a young black woman through song and spoken word.’
    • ‘As well as performances by the only ensemble company of actors in Scotland, there is children's entertainment and music festivals.’
    • ‘More than 25 bands and ensembles will perform more than 40 concerts on Saturday for the Pershore Midsummer Brass event.’
    • ‘Some of the major events in the festival are given by the ensembles which bring together top musicians from different countries.’
    • ‘The ensemble cast is huge, and there are a few surprising cameos throughout.’
    • ‘Here, two ensembles of nine dancers mesh into tight circles as individuals hoist themselves aloft, top the mass and dismount, rejoining the group.’
    • ‘Children as young as 10 years old perform alongside the ensemble's core of semi-professional adult musicians.’
    • ‘The sublime sounds of this local jazz ensemble will make you stop and listen closely.’
    • ‘She's the final element in an ensemble of truly wonderful actors delivering hilarious and memorable performances.’
    • ‘In the 1960s, he and Peter Hall did so much to develop the concept of a permanent ensemble where the actors received proper training.’
    • ‘The correlation works magnificently, as does the large ensemble of young actors, musicians and technicians from all over Western Canada.’
    • ‘By sixteen he was performing and writing for large jazz ensembles as well as doing studio work in Los Angeles.’
    group, band, orchestra, combo
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    1. 1.1 A scene or passage written for performance by a whole cast, choir, or group of instruments.
      • ‘The programme for the evening will include arias, duets and ensembles from operas by Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti and Gounod’
      • ‘The ensembles are performed with delicacy or gusto as required.’
      • ‘This is a piece for eight dancers, brought together in processions and ensembles, but framed around duets in which classical shapes are sculpted and explored - the beauty of arabesques or slowly revolving turns in attitude.’
      • ‘Now he is a participant in one of the most exciting contemporary world-music ensembles.’
      • ‘This piece d' occasion is said to have been intended for a wedding that never took place and features four soloists and choir in a series of delightful solos, ensembles and choruses.’
      • ‘With their fusion of aria, ensemble, and recitative his operas paved the way for Gluck's reforms of the 1760s.’
      • ‘The work is full of exciting ensembles, arias and orchestral passages with all performers especially the great Aquiles Machado churning out a performance that is well nigh unsurpassable.’
      • ‘Each of the players was a skilful soloist, and they each gracefully merged their individual talents to create tight flowing ensembles.’
    2. 1.2 The coordination between performers executing an ensemble passage.
      ‘a high level of tuning and ensemble is guaranteed’
      • ‘The soloist and orchestra achieve wonderful clarity and fine ensemble.’
      • ‘The ensemble was also superbly coordinated in the Minuet and Trio and bristling finale, with its driving sequences and rich chains of suspensions.’
      • ‘Certainly, his detail-oriented approach to conducting helped hone the orchestra's ensemble and refine its sound.’
      • ‘Jenkins ability to wield these performers into ensemble and groupings at moments touched the sublime.’
  • 2A group of items viewed as a whole rather than individually.

    ‘the buildings in the square present a charming provincial ensemble’
    • ‘Not to be missed are the ensemble of classic and contemporary masterpieces put up by stores.’
    • ‘The painting was thus almost certainly intended as an independent work, rather than as part of a larger ensemble.’
    • ‘He confirms, backhandedly, that it's simplest to treat ensembles as we do individual artists.’
    • ‘The site and its structures were eventually acquired by the city council with a view to renovating the ensemble to house a municipal library and archive.’
    • ‘London Cries, depicting the lower orders of the capital, survive in three formats: as broadsheet panels of engravings, as ensembles of individual prints, and as illustrated books.’
    • ‘Drawings that functioned as studies for individual characters in the ensembles help flesh out sub-themes of the larger, busier compositions.’
    • ‘When the curtains rose, a full ensemble would be in view with this building at the centre sitting majestically.’
    • ‘Now, the meaning of goods - once found in individual objects - emerged instead from a total ensemble, the overall system of goods.’
    whole, whole thing, entity, unit, unity, body, piece, object, discrete item
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    1. 2.1usually in singular A set of clothes chosen to harmonize when worn together.
      • ‘I also hoped that to complete the ensemble a midriff top would be added.’
      • ‘He wore a black ensemble that consisted of a traditional three-button suit, neatly pressed, hemmed slacks, dress shirt and silk tie.’
      • ‘He was wearing a relaxed ensemble of black pants and shoes, and a crisp white dress shirt.’
      • ‘I chose the powder grey shirt, light shade of grey tie, pin stripe jacket and pants and to pull the ensemble together some black boots.’
      • ‘Her ensemble was completed by black stockings and heels.’
      • ‘Jack went through his drawers of designer clothes, putting together a tasteful ensemble.’
      • ‘A white shirt and black vest finished the ensemble.’
      • ‘The resulting ensembles will also be the inspiration for contemporary costume creations and performance pieces.’
      • ‘Samara was wearing an ensemble of a black velvet tube & chiffon dress with a huge light pink ribbon around her waist.’
      • ‘Her shirtwaist style top was a mint green, the soft pastel bringing out her eyes as she slipped on a simple brown skirt, finishing the ensemble with a fine leather belt.’
      • ‘Jesse was wearing the whole suit ensemble, minus the tie and the jacket.’
      • ‘He wore a thin black vest over a gray shirt, with black fingerless gloves to match the ensemble.’
      • ‘After the addition of a pair of hoop earrings, a black leather jacket, and a black purse, the ensemble was complete.’
      • ‘The graduates were well attired for the occasion, with coloured convocation robes, inner suit and the flat cap completing the ensemble.’
      • ‘All that's needed is a blue dress for a harmonious ensemble.’
      • ‘The ensemble had a white dress shirt underneath a black blazer.’
      • ‘Viridian stands there in a red cloak and black gown, the same ensemble she wore the first time he laid his eyes on her.’
      • ‘Her black leather pants and boots completed the ensemble.’
      • ‘Any rings or chains should be gold (in colour at least) as it just completes the whole ensemble.’
      • ‘The boots began the ensemble, black leather with silver studs outlining them in a tasteful fashion.’
      outfit, costume, suit, coordinates, matching separates, set of clothes
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2Physics A group of similar systems, or different states of the same system, often considered statistically.
      • ‘Whether by looking at the organisms, or by looking at their DNA, the interest of the microbiologists was in an ensemble, not the individual.’
      • ‘The interior treatments of the two ensembles reflect the difference in their functions.’
      • ‘In both proteins these results suggest the unfolded ensemble of conformations retain a substantial number of rigid substructures.’
      • ‘When dissolved in water, most proteins fold into either a single conformation or a small ensemble of similar conformations.’
      • ‘However, it is probably a wise idea to simulate the same system at different surface areas and using different ensembles.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as an adverb (long rare) meaning ‘at the same time’): from French, based on Latin insimul, from in- ‘in’ + simul ‘at the same time’. The noun dates from the mid 18th century.

Pronunciation

ensemble

/änˈsämbəl//ɑnˈsɑmbəl/