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[kuh-ral, -rahl, kaw-, koh-; kawr-uh l, kohr-] /kəˈræl, -ˈrɑl, kɔ-, koʊ-; ˈkɔr əl, ˈkoʊr-/
a hymn, especially one with strong harmonization:
a Bach chorale.
a group of singers specializing in singing church music; choir.
1835-45; < German Choral, short for Choralgesang, translation of Latin cantus chorālis choral singing; see choral Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for chorale
  • A choir, chorale, or chorus is a musical ensemble of singers.
  • He composed some chorale melodies himself, such as a mighty fortress.
British Dictionary definitions for chorale


a slow stately hymn tune, esp of the Lutheran Church
(mainly US) a choir or chorus
Word Origin
C19: from German Choralgesang, translation of Latin cantus chorālis choral song
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for chorale

1828, "sacred choral song," from German Choral "metrical hymn in Reformed church," shortened from Choralgesang "choral song," translating Medieval Latin cantus choralis, from Latin cantus (see chant (v.)) + choralis (see choral). The -e was added to indicate stress. Meaning "group of singers" is 1942.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for chorale

metrical hymn tune associated in common English usage with the Lutheran church in Germany. From early in the Reformation, chorales were to be sung by the congregation during the Protestant liturgy. Unison singing was the rule of the reformed churches, both in Germany and in other countries. Early polyphonic (multivoiced) versions may have been intended for a choir singing only the melody while the full version was played on the organ. In later polyphonic arrangements the melody shifted gradually to the treble line from its original position in the tenor

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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