orchestra pit
Orchestra Or"ches*tra, n. [L. orchestra, Gr. ?, orig., the place for the chorus of dancers, from ? to dance: cf. F. orchestre.] 1. The space in a theater between the stage and the audience; -- originally appropriated by the Greeks to the chorus and its evolutions, afterward by the Romans to persons of distinction, and by the moderns to a band of instrumental musicians. Now commonly called {orchestra pit}, to distinguish it from the section of the main floor occupied by spectators. [1913 Webster +PJC]

2. The space in the main floor of a theater in which the audience sits; also, the forward spectator section of the main floor, in distinction from the {parterre}, which is the rear section of the main floor. [PJC]

3. The place in any public hall appropriated to a band of instrumental musicians. [1913 Webster]

4. (Mus.) (a) Loosely: A band of instrumental musicians performing in a theater, concert hall, or other place of public amusement. (b) Strictly: A band suitable for the performance of symphonies, overtures, etc., as well as for the accompaniment of operas, oratorios, cantatas, masses, and the like, or of vocal and instrumental solos. (c) A band composed, for the largest part, of players of the various viol instruments, many of each kind, together with a proper complement of wind instruments of wood and brass; -- as distinguished from a military or street band of players on wind instruments, and from an assemblage of solo players for the rendering of concerted pieces, such as septets, octets, and the like. [1913 Webster]

5. (Mus.) The instruments employed by a full band, collectively; as, an orchestra of forty stringed instruments, with proper complement of wind instruments. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • orchestra pit — orchestra ,pit noun count the area in front of and below a theater stage where an orchestra sits and plays the music for an opera, BALLET, or MUSICAL …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • orchestra pit — n the space below the stage in a theatre where the musicians sit …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Orchestra pit — For a type of orchestra, see pit orchestra. The orchestra pit sandwiched between the stage and the seating of the New York State Theater. An orchestra pit is the area in a theater (usually located in a lowered area in front of the stage) in which …   Wikipedia

  • orchestra pit — noun lowered area in front of a stage where an orchestra accompanies the performers • Syn: ↑pit • Hypernyms: ↑area • Part Holonyms: ↑theater, ↑theatre, ↑house * * * noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • orchestra pit — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms orchestra pit : singular orchestra pit plural orchestra pits theatre British the area in front of and below a theatre stage where an orchestra sits and plays the music for an opera, ballet, or musical …   English dictionary

  • orchestra pit — N SING In a theatre, the orchestra pit is the space reserved for the musicians playing the music for an opera, musical, or ballet, immediately in front of or below the stage …   English dictionary

  • orchestra pit — /ˈɔkəstrə pɪt/ (say awkuhstruh pit) noun Theatre the area in front of and below the stage, where the orchestra plays …   Australian English dictionary

  • orchestra pit — low area below the stage where an orchestra sits and plays during a performance …   English contemporary dictionary

  • orchestra pit — noun (C) the space below the stage in a theatre where the musicians sit …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • orchestra — or orchestra pit [ôr′kis trə, ôr′kes΄trə] n. [L < Gr orchēstra < orcheisthai, to dance < IE base * ergh , extension of base * er , swift movement, a raising > Sans * ṛghāyati, (he) rages, Ger arg, bad] 1. in ancient Greek theaters,… …   English World dictionary

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