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

In ballet, people have very strong ideas about tradition. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "Ballet has long excluded dancers of color. A broader range of “nude” pointe shoes signal change.," 9 Nov. 2018 The Republicans’ meetings in Moscow — coming after the lawmakers visited St. Petersburg and took in the ballet ‘‘Sleeping Beauty’’ — helped set the tone for the July 16 Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki. Washington Post,, "Republican lawmakers come to Moscow, raising hopes there of US-Russia thaw," 3 July 2018 Striving is something Kim knows well, having moved to London from South Korea at a young age to pursue her dream of becoming a ballerina (the name KITRI comes from a female character in the ballet of Don Quixote). Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "This Affordable U.K. Brand Has Your Summer 9-to-5 Wardrobe Covered," 1 June 2018 Joseph Rios’ nocturne sequence functions like three movements in a ballet. David Roderick, San Francisco Chronicle, "State Lines: Joseph Rios’ ‘Nocturnes’," 30 May 2018 Remember when Chad Ochocinco tried bull riding, or Herschel Walker performed in a ballet? Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, "Reggie Miller has found a new hobby, mountain biking, and a new way to help ABA players," 3 May 2018 Much has been written about the dark undertones in Peck’s ballet. David Lyman,, "Cincinnati Ballet's 'Bold Moves' is perfect harmony of performing, visual art," 28 Apr. 2018 Nowhere is this more apparent than in Louise’s ballet, which, as danced by Brittany Pollack, is almost too painful for any flawed parent to watch. Chris Jones,, "Jessie Mueller stars in a Broadway 'Carousel' that reminds us life is all too short," 13 Apr. 2018 In the ballet, Copland weaves together a variety of musical influences including jazz, Romanticism, and authentic American cowboy songs to build a evocative score. Jessica Rudman,, "HSO's Celebration Of American Composers An Exciting Romp," 7 Apr. 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

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ballet

The first known use of ballet was in 1608

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More Definitions for ballet



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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More from Merriam-Webster on ballet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ballet

Spanish Central: Translation of ballet

Nglish: Translation of ballet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ballet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ballet

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