bal·​let | \ ˈba-ˌlā How to pronounce ballet (audio) , 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 How to pronounce balletic (audio) \ 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 But her days are spent in a rush from morning to night getting her daughters to school, to naps, to ballet, to dinner, to the bath and to bed. Lindsey Bahr, Star Tribune, "Review: Sofia Coppola's 'On the Rocks' is a modest delight," 1 Oct. 2020 Maintaining perspective while allowing this necessary grief is a delicate ballet, even in the best of times. Washington Post, "As a doctor and mother, I’m balancing privilege and pain through this pandemic," 14 Sep. 2020 Nev and his dad are superfans of the New York City ballet! Lynette Rice,, "Dancing With the Stars recap: Look who got the season's first perfect score," 27 Oct. 2020 Together, the two rappers delivered an energetic performance that included marching band members as well as ballet dancers. Anna Chan, Billboard, "2 Chainz & Lil Wayne Give a Shoutout to HBCUs With 'Money Maker' at the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards," 27 Oct. 2020 After all, Schulman has been around the arts for most of his adult life, and has photographed and filmed ballet dancers extensively over the past 15 years. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, "Nev Schulman Says ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Is Becoming One of His “Best Experiences Ever”," 26 Oct. 2020 Written by John Robert Allman and illustrated by Rachael Dean, the text explores the world of ballet through the world of letters, and vice versa. New York Times, "7 Things to Do This Weekend," 22 Oct. 2020 Find more information on the ballet company at Matthew J. Palm,, "Dance on, Orlando: ‘Nutcracker,’ ‘Carmen’ collaboration and gift to first responders," 14 Oct. 2020 The ways Paris affects Emily lead to some of the most thrilling visuals of the series' first season, from her stunning ensemble for a trip to the ballet to her successful marketing scheme during Paris Fashion Week. Ariana Romero,, "Is Emily In Paris The New Sex & The City? Lily Collins Tells All," 4 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ballet

Time Traveler

The first known use of ballet was in 1608

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Statistics for ballet

Last Updated

14 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ballet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for ballet


How to pronounce ballet (audio)

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 How to pronounce ballet (audio) , 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

Nglish: Translation of ballet for Spanish Speakers

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

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