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.

Other Words from ballet

balletic \ ba-​ˈle-​tik How to pronounce ballet (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 The Orange Is the New Black alum trained classically in ballet from a young age, according to InStyle. Korin Miller,, 2 Nov. 2021 TikTok: @jamestheseventh Originally trained in ballet, James The Seventh began releasing songs after an injury suffered in 2020 prevented him from dancing. Nina Braca, Billboard, 25 Oct. 2021 The idea of pursuing a Grand Bargain with a party organized around the principle of blowing up procedural norms at every opportunity is a rank delusion, akin to trying to instruct a feral panther in ballet. Chris Lehmann, The New Republic, 15 Sep. 2021 Her parents had her in ballet, in music and art classes, playing hockey and soccer—but after seeing boxing on TV with her family Meryland pleaded to try it. Gabriel Gaurano, The New Yorker, 15 Sep. 2021 When Eva Reyes was 3 years old, her mother enrolled her in ballet. Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 July 2021 The two would have been the first Black dancers at ABT to star in the ballet together. Amy Troost; Styling By Samira Nasr, Harper's BAZAAR, 27 July 2021 Christmas would hardly be Christmas without its accompanying entertainments, from nativity plays to The Nutcracker ballet and Charlie Brown specials. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, 23 Dec. 2021 But Gilmer’s first serious dance language was ballet. New York Times, 10 Dec. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near ballet



ballet blanc

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Statistics for ballet

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ballet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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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

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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