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[kwahyuh r] /kwaɪər/
a company of singers, especially an organized group employed in church service.
any group of musicians or musical instruments; a musical company, or band, or a division of one:
string choir.
  1. the part of a church occupied by the singers of the choir.
  2. the part of a cruciform church east of the crossing.
(in medieval angelology) one of the orders of angels.
professed to recite or chant the divine office:
a choir monk.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to sing or sound in chorus.
Origin of choir
1250-1300; Middle English quer < Old French cuer < Latin chorus chorus; replacing Old English chor choir < Latin
Related forms
choirlike, adjective
Can be confused
choir, quire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for choir
  • There may be a benediction, and a choir may dutifully sing.
  • Each participant was, in effect, preaching to his own choir.
  • In some ways, photography doesn't do a whole lot other than sing to the choir.
  • As a college student, my eyes would often well up with tears during my twice-a-week choir rehearsals.
  • Only the northwest staircase and the choir section remained standing.
  • To use a mocking metaphor, they're only preaching to the choir.
  • They often also have social events where they discuss church choir things.
  • The walls of their little church hall are decorated with pictures of generation upon generation of their local choir.
  • What's more difficult is modulating one's writing and other communications to really reach beyond that choir.
  • You've convinced me, but then that's preaching to the choir.
British Dictionary definitions for choir


an organized group of singers, esp for singing in church services
  1. the part of a cathedral, abbey, or church in front of the altar, lined on both sides with benches, and used by the choir and clergy Compare chancel
  2. (as modifier): choir stalls
a number of instruments of the same family playing together: a brass choir
Also called choir organ. one of the manuals on an organ controlling a set of soft sweet-toned pipes Compare great (sense 21), swell (sense 16)
any of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology
Archaic spelling quire
Derived Forms
choirlike, adjective
Word Origin
C13 quer, from Old French cuer, from Latin chorus
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for choir

c.1300, queor "part of the church where the choir sings," from Old French cuer, quer "choir of a church (architectural); chorus of singers" (13c., Modern French choeur), from Latin chorus "choir" (see chorus). Meaning "band of singers" is c.1400, quyre. Re-spelled mid-17c. on Latin model.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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