American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An organized company of singers, especially one performing church music or singing in a church.
- n. The part of a church used by such a company of singers.
- n. The part of the chancel in a cruciform church that is occupied by this company of singers.
- n. A group of instruments of the same kind: a string choir.
- n. A division of some pipe organs, containing pipes suitable for accompanying a choir.
- n. An organized group: a choir of dancers.
- n. One of the orders of angels.
- v. To sing in chorus.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any company of singers.
- n. An organized company of singers. Especially, such a company employed in church service.
- n. A choral society, especially one that performs sacred music. In eight-part music a chorus is divided into first and second choirs. In the Anglican Church, an official body consisting of the minor canons, the choral vicars, and the choristers connected with a cathedral, whose function is to perform the daily choral service. Such a choir is divided into two sections, called decani and cantoris, sitting on the right and left sides respectively; of these the decani side forms the leading or principal section. See cantoris, decani.
- n. That part of a church which is, or is considered as, appropriated for the use of the singers. In churches of fully developed plan, that part between the nave and the apse which is reserved for canons, priests, monks, and choristers during divine service. In cruciform churches the choir usually begins at the transepts and occupies the head of the cross, including the altar (see cut under
cathedral); but sometimes, especially in monastic churches, it extends beyond the transepts, thus encroaching upon the nave. In churches without transepts the choir is similarly placed. In medieval examples, especially after 1250, it was usually surrounded by an ornamental barrier or grating (see choir-screen), and separated from the nave by a rood-screen. See chancel.
- n. A company; a band, originally of persons dancing to music: loosely applied to an assembly for any ceremonial purpose.
- n. Formerly and still occasionally quire.
- To sing in company.
- n. All that part of a cruciform church which is beyond, eastward of or farther from the main entrance than the transept; the eastern arm of the cross: so named because the choir proper (see def. 3) is usually in that part of the church and occupies nearly all of it. Thus, without reference to the interior, one may say of a great church that the choir is fourteenth-century work, while the nave and transepts remain twelfth-century, as at Tournai in Belgium.
- n. A group of instruments of the same class or of related organ-stops, as a trombone choir, a diapason choir, etc.
- n. Singing group; group of people who sing together; company of people who are trained to sing together
- n. The part of a church where the choir assembles for song
- n. one of the nine ranks or orders of angels
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A band or organized company of singers, especially in church service.
- n. That part of a church appropriated to the singers.
- n. (Arch.) The chancel.
- n. a family of similar musical instrument playing together
- n. a chorus that sings as part of a religious ceremony
- n. the area occupied by singers; the part of the chancel between sanctuary and nave
- v. sing in a choir
- From Middle English quer, quere, from Old French quer, from Latin chorus, from Ancient Greek χορός (choros, "company of dancers or singers"). Modern spelling influenced by chorus and Modern French chœur. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English quer, quire, from Old French cuer, from Medieval Latin chorus, from Latin, choral dance; see chorus. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“These various names were, in the Middle Ages, mostly superseded by the term choir, which in turn yielded to the modern term sanctuary.”
“Preaching to the choir is a legitimate enterprise.”
“The problem is, the choir is asleep and will not wake up.”
“As on Christmas, he was in choir dress, wearing the white Mozzetta of Eastertide, as well as a new white Easter stole, bearing his own coat of arms.”
“I don't usually blog the pieces that our own choir is doing, mainly because it seems excessively solipsistic, but I was so touched at how this piece by Henry Purcell went that I figure there is a point to drawing your attention to it.”
“Nico Muhly's score, layering electronic beats, live ensemble and choir, is a tempest in itself, with textures and colours battering against each other in a dissonant blast.”
“The conductor, head vocalist, and stage hand for this bookish choir is George Murray, who co-founded Bookninja with fellow author Peter Darbyshire back in 2003, when the phrase “book blog” still had to qualified with some form of descriptor for the web-challenged.”
“At the back of this altar (to be seen to right of the next picture), in a crypt-like room beneath the high choir, is the tomb of St. Otto:”
“Several members will be attending training programs this summer, and the choir is getting the Parish Book of Chant.”
“Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 01: 29 PM minor correction: choir is "le choeur" not "la choeur.”
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