bal·​let | \ˈba-ˌlā, ba-ˈlā\

Definition of ballet 

1a : a theatrical art form using dancing, music, and scenery to convey a story, theme, or atmosphere

b : dancing in which conventional poses and steps are combined with light flowing figures (such as leaps and turns)

2 : music for a ballet

3 : a group that performs ballets

4 : something likened to a ballet especially in complexity and precision of movement Where else can you peek into the kitchen and see a quiet ballet of cooks, their entire attention focused on feeding a mere 65 people?— Ruth Reichl Rather, it is people and the daily ballet of urban life that make a city.— Steven Earnest et al.

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Other Words from ballet

balletic \ ba-​ˈle-​tik \ adjective

Examples of ballet in a Sentence

She does tap dancing and ballet. We are going to a ballet tonight. This is one of my favorite ballets.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The original ballet school was opened 1963 by Barbara Weisberger, with the encouragement of her mentor, George Balanchine. Ellen Dunkel,, "Pennsylvania Ballet hires James Payne as new school director," 22 May 2018 The four-week session is a tryout for the regular ballet school. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bootstrap ballerina, washed out of San Juan, lands in San Francisco," 31 Mar. 2018 Born in Purwokerto, Indonesia in 1915, Theilade attended ballet school in Copenhagen. Rhett Bartlett, The Hollywood Reporter, "Nini Theilade, Ballet Dancer in 1935's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' Dies at 102," 13 Feb. 2018 The class is meant for those who have never taken a ballet class but want to try their tutus on and give it a go., "The Ticket: What’s happening in the local arts world," 8 June 2018 More than 600 students per year take ballet classes in several locations. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Ballet to break ground on new rehearsal facility Tuesday," 4 June 2018 Ballet San Antonio is a nonprofit organization and the resident ballet company at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in downtown San Antonio. John Tedesco, San Antonio Express-News, "Ballet San Antonio dancer faces sexual assault charges," 1 June 2018 Negron began ballet classes in elementary school before studying dance in college at Southern Methodist University. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Why the lead dancer in 'Appalachian Spring' must be a 'strong and complex woman'," 30 May 2018 Members of Ballet Apetrei, St. Tammany's only pre-professional non-profit ballet company, attended the festival to hone their skills, perform for their peers and seek dance scholarships. Sarah Bonnette,, "Artscape: Wealth of young artistic talent on display on the north shore," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ballet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ballet

1608, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ballet

French, from Italian balletto, diminutive of ballo dance, from ballare

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Statistics for ballet

Last Updated

3 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for ballet

The first known use of ballet was in 1608

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English Language Learners Definition of ballet

: a kind of dancing that is performed on a stage and that uses dance, music, costumes, and scenery to tell a story

: a show in which ballet is performed

: a group of dancers who perform ballets together


bal·​let | \ˈba-ˌlā, ba-ˈlā\

Kids Definition of ballet

1 : a stage dance that tells a story in movement and pantomime

2 : a group that performs ballets

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