Pi·​la·​tes pə-ˈlä-tēz How to pronounce Pilates (audio)
: an exercise regimen that is typically performed on a floor mat or with the use of specialized apparatus and aims to improve flexibility and stability by strengthening the muscles and especially the torso-stabilizing muscles of the abdomen and lower back
Long popular with dancers, Pilates recently has attracted a huge surge of athletes, models, actors and other body-conscious folks.Patricia Hagen
She does intensive Pilates, deep-muscle floor exercises and stretches.Cosmopolitan

Examples of Pilates in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Along the way, industrialists learned that the poor posture epidemic was good for business, leading to new, lucrative markets in ergonomic chairs, back braces, shoes, and fitness regimes, such as yoga and Pilates. Beth Linker, TIME, 8 Apr. 2024 Search online for fitness, barre, Pilates or gym + near me to identify the closest options, Luna says. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2024 To make this outfit extra cool, slip the brand’s Halo Performance Hoodie over it when heading to a Pilates class or an early morning stroll. Jean Chen Smith, Travel + Leisure, 3 Apr. 2024 According to recent studies, the sympathetic nervous system activity may decrease in Pilates activities, while parasympathetic nervous system activity may increase. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 2 Apr. 2024 Studies suggest that just about anything is helpful—yoga, Pilates, walking, swimming…the list goes on. Ali Finney, SELF, 28 Mar. 2024 This relaxed zip-front jacket is my favorite layering item when heading to and from Pilates, for coffee meetups, and running errands. Jean Chen Smith, Travel + Leisure, 24 Mar. 2024 Other workouts such as Pilates and barre have also become more popular. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 20 Mar. 2024 Dorak, the founder of Pilates Platinum, and McKee Zajfen, the co-founder of Alliance of Moms, both shouted out the venture’s launch day with messages on their Instagram Stories. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 15 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Pilates.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Joseph H. Pilates †1967 U.S. (German-born) fitness instructor

First Known Use

1934, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Pilates was in 1934

Dictionary Entries Near Pilates

Cite this Entry

“Pilates.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Pilates. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


Pi·​la·​tes pə-ˈlä-tēz How to pronounce Pilates (audio)
: an exercise regimen typically performed with the use of specialized apparatus and designed to improve the overall condition of the body
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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