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[awr-kuh-streyt] /ˈɔr kəˌstreɪt/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), orchestrated, orchestrating.
to compose or arrange (music) for performance by an orchestra.
to arrange or manipulate, especially by means of clever or thorough planning or maneuvering:
to orchestrate a profitable trade agreement.
Origin of orchestrate
1875-80; < French orchestr(er) (derivative of orchestre orchestra) + -ate1
Related forms
orchestration, noun
orchestrator, orchestrater, noun
overorchestrate, verb, overorchestrated, overorchestrating.
reorchestrate, verb, reorchestrated, reorchestrating.
reorchestration, noun
unorchestrated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for orchestrate
  • Fraternities and sororities would orchestrate loud cheering sections to applaud each of their members as they crossed the stage.
  • Armed with the chief's blessing, the group fanned out to orchestrate the lynx's return.
  • Gun writers, too, help orchestrate the mood that so infuses the gun culture.
  • Behavior, because it's so complicated to orchestrate, is polymorphic-it requires the action of many genes in concert.
  • When he came into office, he was hopeful that he could orchestrate a peace treaty before the end of his first term.
  • People should not, he says, jump to the conclusion that he plans to orchestrate a break-up of the company.
  • And in finance, economists were often helping to orchestrate the trouble.
  • Earlier this month, the company hired a new executive to orchestrate its lobbying efforts.
  • Surgery teams orchestrate better when they listen to music.
  • Even the moment of conception wasn't that simple to orchestrate.
British Dictionary definitions for orchestrate


verb (transitive)
to score or arrange (a piece of music) for orchestra
to arrange, organize, or build up for special or maximum effect
Derived Forms
orchestration, noun
orchestrator, noun
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 orchestrate

"to compose or arrange (music) for an orchestra," 1855, back-formation from orchestration. The figurative sense is attested from 1883. Related: Orchestrated; orchestrating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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