bal·​le·​ri·​na ˌba-lə-ˈrē-nə How to pronounce ballerina (audio)
: a woman who is a ballet dancer : danseuse

Examples of ballerina in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There’s a long, fertile overlap between the realms of the catwalk and pas de chat: Fashion heavyweights including Christian Lacroix, Prada and Rodarte have designed ballet costumes, and ballerinas such as Margot Fonteyn have sported couture offstage. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 10 Feb. 2024 Seeing men who aren’t ballerinas in ballet flats this year on the streets will be the true trend test. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 22 Jan. 2024 The ballerina part of her online moniker comes from the fact that before settling down, Neeleman had been a professional dancer who studied at Julliard. Stephanie McNeal, Glamour, 22 Jan. 2024 Born in Washington, DC in 1933, Rivera began training as a ballerina at age 9 before receiving a scholarship to the School of American Ballet from legendary choreographer George Balanchine, an obituary from Frimark detailed. Elizabeth Wagmeister, CNN, 30 Jan. 2024 To complete the ensemble, Gomez wore her hair slicked into a ballerina topknot and wore red satin slingback pumps that precisely matched the color of her gown. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 8 Jan. 2024 Father and daughter took a photo together, with Powerful making a silly face and clutching her ballerina doll in the cute shot. Angela Andaloro, Peoplemag, 5 Jan. 2024 The shape: Ballerina The ballerina manicure was the most popular short nail shape on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival last year. Violeta Valdés, Vogue, 5 Jan. 2024 Some of the decor, including those ballerinas, a mountain of oversize ornaments and the huge Christmas lights hanging from the rafters, were hand-customized by Salame Aspiazu. Fritz Hahn, Washington Post, 6 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Italian, "woman who dances professionally or for pleasure," feminine counterpart of ballarino, ballerino "professional dancer, person who loves to dance," from ballare "to dance" (going back to Late Latin ballāre) + -ar-, -er-, extension in nominal derivation + -ino, suffix of occupations (as in postino "mailman," scalpellino "stonemason"), going back to Latin -īnus -ine entry 1 — more at ball entry 3

First Known Use

1815, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ballerina was in 1815

Dictionary Entries Near ballerina

Cite this Entry

“Ballerina.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


bal·​le·​ri·​na ˌbal-ə-ˈrē-nə How to pronounce ballerina (audio)
: a female ballet dancer

More from Merriam-Webster on ballerina

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