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

Barrel racers did their charge-and-twirl ballet through the oil drum cloverleaf. Mike Sutter,, "Review: Rodeo spirit energizes Tejas Steakhouse in Bulverde," 11 July 2019 Charlotte also showed off her ballet skills during the playdate. Erin Hill,, "Prince Louis Just Had a Meme-Worthy Moment in Kate's Sunglasses While Greeting Meghan and Archie," 10 July 2019 The Royal Opera House in London has also faced calls to end BP’s sponsorship of outdoor opera and ballet screenings. Alex Marshall, New York Times, "Should Oil Money Fund the Arts? Leading British Artists Say No," 5 July 2019 Also in the lineup: a mesmerizing teal, a denim blue, and a ballet pink — all with a slight shimmer. Karina Hoshikawa,, "Chanel Just Dropped 6 Metallic Nail Polishes — & We Want Them All," 5 July 2019 Once movement begins, a press of a button allows us to enter a slow-motion mode, where one can assign multiple targets or entertain some ballet-like spins (spins, of course, evade incoming bullets). Todd Martens,, "Review: 'My Friend Pedro’ is 2019’s best action game with a talking banana," 3 July 2019 In Russia, ballet schools are funded with government support, Marat said. Makeda Easter,, "Dance studios are the latest pushed out by L.A.'s skyrocketing real estate," 3 July 2019 The flight deck of an aircraft carrier has often been compared to a lethal ballet with scurrying crewmen launching and recovering Navy jet fighters in perfect synchronization. Mike Glenn, Houston Chronicle, "‘Pickers’ and ‘Stowers’ keep things moving at Katy-area Amazon Center," 1 July 2019 Andy Blankenbuehler’s Tony Award-winning choreography is inspired by everything from jazz to jitterbug to to hip-hop to ballet. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Here comes 'Hamilton': What you need know about the musical coming to Baltimore that took over the world," 21 June 2019

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

14 Jul 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 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

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

Comments on ballet

What made you want to look up ballet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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