ballet de cour

noun \-də-ˈku̇r\

Definition of ballet de cour


ballets de cour

\ba-ˈlā(z)-də-ˈku̇r, ˈba-ˌlā(z)-\ play
  1. :  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.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of ballet de cour

borrowed from French, literally, “court ballet”

First Known Use: 1891

Seen and Heard

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


a brief usually trivial fact

Get Word of the Day daily email!