Word of the Day


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1.the part of a song that does not change and is repeated several times

2. a group of people speaking or singing together

3. a group of people expressing the same opinion

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The noun chorus was first used in English in the mid 16th century. It comes from the Greek word ‘khoros’ via the Latin ‘chorus’, the word for the group of singers and dancers who performed in ancient Greek religious festivals and theatrical performances. In English the term was first used to refer to the  theatrical figure who speaks the prologue of a play and sometimes comments on the action. The musical meanings came later, in the 17th and 18th centuries.


The noun chorus has a number of different meanings, as well as a related verb which refers to people saying something together. The phrase in chorus conveys the same meaning. In musical theatre the chorus line is a group of performers who sing and dance together rather than individually; a chorus girl (or, less frequently, boy) is someone who takes part in such a performance. Birdsong is a feature of this time of year and the singing of birds in the early mornings is referred to as the dawn chorus. The first Sunday in May is International Dawn Chorus day; people are encouraged to get up early and go for a walk in a quiet place where birdsong can be heard at its best. Organized walks are also held, sometimes in the company of an expert who can identify the different songs.


“I got a part as a chorus girl in a show called Every Sailor and I had fun doing it. Mother didn’t really approve of it, though.”
(James Cagney)

“Admit me Chorus to this history; Who prologue-like your humble patience pray, Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.”
(William Shakespeare, Henry V)

Related words

lyric, refrain, verse

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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