Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An organized company of singers, especially one performing church music or singing in a church.
  • noun The part of a church used by such a company of singers.
  • noun The part of the chancel in a cruciform church that is occupied by this company of singers.
  • noun A group of instruments of the same kind.
  • noun A division of some pipe organs, containing pipes suitable for accompanying a choir.
  • noun An organized group.
  • noun One of the orders of angels.
  • intransitive verb To sing in chorus.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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.
  • noun A group of instruments of the same class or of related organ-stops, as a trombone choir, a diapason choir, etc.
  • noun Any company of singers.
  • noun An organized company of singers. Especially, such a company employed in church service.
  • noun 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.
  • noun That part of a church which is, or is considered as, appropriated for the use of the singers.
  • noun A company; a band, originally of persons dancing to music: loosely applied to an assembly for any ceremonial purpose.
  • noun Formerly and still occasionally quire.
  • To sing in company.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A band or organized company of singers, especially in church service.
  • noun That part of a church appropriated to the singers.
  • noun (Arch.) The chancel.
  • noun (Mus.) one of the three or five distinct organs included in the full organ, each separable from the rest, but all controlled by one performer; a portion of the full organ, complete in itself, and more practicable for ordinary service and in the accompanying of the vocal choir.
  • noun (Arch.) a screen or low wall separating the choir from the aisles.
  • noun the service of singing performed by the choir.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Singing group; group of people who sing together; company of people who are trained to sing together
  • noun The part of a church where the choir assembles for song
  • noun one of the nine ranks or orders of angels

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a family of similar musical instrument playing together
  • noun a chorus that sings as part of a religious ceremony
  • noun the area occupied by singers; the part of the chancel between sanctuary and nave
  • verb sing in a choir

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English quer, quire, from Old French cuer, from Medieval Latin chorus, from Latin, choral dance; see chorus.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

Examples

  • These various names were, in the Middle Ages, mostly superseded by the term choir, which in turn yielded to the modern term sanctuary.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • Preaching to the choir is a legitimate enterprise.

    Apologetics

  • Preaching to the choir is a legitimate enterprise.

    Saints

  • Preaching to the choir is a legitimate enterprise.

    Abortion

  • The problem is, the choir is asleep and will not wake up.

    Think Progress » “The real victims of Fox News weren’t the liberals

  • 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.

    Stephen Petronio Company – review

  • 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.

    The world is coloured ‘Ninja red this week

  • 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.

    The world is coloured ‘Ninja red this week

  • 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.

    Papal Easter Day Mass and Urbi et Orbi Blessing

  • 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.

    Thou Knowest Lord the Secrets of Our Hearts

Comments

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  • As far as I know, this is the only word where oi is pronounced "wai". I'm not even sure if there are any words where oi is pronounced "ai".

    December 29, 2010