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.

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The subjects — which range from ballet to Pokemon, quantum reality to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — generally are not covered by traditional curriculum. Cicero Estrella, The Mercury News, "Adulting 101: Cal students teach course on ‘how to live in the real world and function as an adult’," 27 Aug. 2019 Thus sets in motion a series of dance performances from ballet to contortionist backed by different pieces of music including opera and spoken word. Trevor Fraser,, "Review: Luna - Fringe 2018," 14 May 2018 In total, 14 students from across Southern California were named finalists in seven categories ranging from ballet to classical voice. Andy Nguyen,, "Area teens win $5,000 scholarships from arts-training program," 4 May 2018 Linda created the name Mojalet by combing letters from dance genres: m-o from modern, j-a from jazz, and l-e-t from ballet. Lisa Deaderick,, "Taking a chance on dance led to a new career," 5 Apr. 2018 Not all of the dancers in the show will come from the ballet, Green said. Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, "Getting dance-ready for ‘Anything Goes’ and ‘Newsies’," 26 Jan. 2018 Gerald Friendman was a busy man, but always made time for his family, going to his two sons’ baseball games and attending his daughter’s ballet recitals, Sidney Friedman said. Anna Kim,, "Former Northbrook mayor, civic leader Friedman dead at 94 following battle with cancer," 16 Sep. 2019 Maybe all the girls took ballet in the ’50s, in Little Neck, Long Island. Devorah Heitner, Longreads, "What’s Happening to My Body?," 13 Sep. 2019 Bourne’s take on the 19th century ballet centers on a dysfunctional royal family and a young prince forced to reconcile with his sexuality. Los Angeles Times, "12 dance performances to see in L.A. this fall," 12 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ballet

Statistics for ballet

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ballet

The first known use of ballet was in 1608

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


fear of the number 13

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!