ballet de cour

\ -də-ˈku̇r How to pronounce ballet de cour (audio) \
plural ballets de cour\ ba-​ˈlā(z)-​də-​ˈku̇r How to pronounce ballets de cour (audio) , ˈba-​ˌlā(z)-​ \

Definition of ballet de cour

: a type of ballet performed as part of a celebration for the French royal court in the 16th and 17th centuries By the middle of the sixteenth century Italian dancing masters were working in France, attracted in part by the presence of Catherine de' Medici as Queen of France, and it is at this time we note the emergence of the ballet de cour.— Mary Clarke & Clement Crisp, The Ballet Goer's Guide, 1981

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of ballet de cour

1891, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ballet de cour

borrowed from French, literally, “court ballet”

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ballet de cour

Time Traveler for ballet de cour

Time Traveler

The first known use of ballet de cour was in 1891

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ballet de cour

Cite this Entry

“Ballet de cour.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Oct. 2020.

Comments on ballet de cour

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!