bal·​let·​o·​mane | \ba-ˈle-tə-ˌmān \

Definition of balletomane 

: a devotee of ballet

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Other Words from balletomane

balletomania \ba-​ˌle-​tə-​ˈmā-​nē-​ə, -​nyə \ noun

Did You Know?

If you suspected that "balletomane" originated with the idea of a "mania" for ballet, you are correct. What you may not have guessed is that the language that inspired English speakers to borrow the word in the 1930s was Russian. Balletomane derives from the Russian noun "baletoman," which in turn combines the word for "ballet" ("balet") and the suffix -man, from "maniya" (meaning "mania"). The English words "mania" and "ballet" did not, however, come from Russian. ("Mania" comes from Latin and Greek, and "ballet" comes from French and Italian.) "Balletomane" is therefore somewhat unusual, both for its Russian origins and for the fact that it does not follow the more traditional "-phile" model for words meaning "someone who likes a specified thing."

Examples of balletomane in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The performance would have astonished even the most seasoned of balletomanes. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Alec Baldwin, Katie Holmes, Jeremy Irons, and More Turn Out for the American Ballet Theatre’s Spring Gala," 22 May 2018 The contrasts on this program seem designed to delight balletomanes: A famous contemporary choreographer whose work will be seen in Fort Worth for the first time is paired with a homegrown talent who (as yet) hasn’t made a big splash beyond DFW. Marilyn Bailey, star-telegram, "Music plays as big a role as choreography in the intriguing 'Henry VIII,' 'Seven Sonatas' | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 1 Mar. 2018 Balletomanes familiar with the 19th-century ballet will recognize only a few images, mostly toward the end. Lauren Warnecke,, "Review: High drama of the ballet 'Red Giselle' returns at the right time," 20 May 2017 Anyone can adore (or hate) ballet; but only a balletomane knows the difference between a sublime grand jeté and one that’s merely passable. Adam Kirsch And Liesl Schillinger, New York Times, "Which Force is More Harmful to the Arts: Elitism or Populism?," 13 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'balletomane.' 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 balletomane

1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for balletomane

Russian baletoman, from balet ballet + -o- + -man, from maniya mania

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The first known use of balletomane was in 1919

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living or existing for a long time

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