bal·​let·​o·​mane | \ ba-ˈle-tə-ˌmān How to pronounce balletomane (audio) \

Definition of balletomane

: a devotee of ballet

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Other Words from balletomane

balletomania \ ba-​ˌle-​tə-​ˈmā-​nē-​ə How to pronounce balletomane (audio) , -​nyə \ noun

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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 Haas’ column was a high priority for Aline, a lifelong balletomane. David Lyman, The Enquirer, 11 Aug. 2020 The event is known to lure fashionable balletomanes, and last night followed suit. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 21 May 2019 Funds for these scholarships come from many places, but the most glamorous source is the ballet school’s annual Winter Ball, where black-tie balletomanes enjoy a gala dinner and performance given by students of the SAB. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 18 Mar. 2019 The relationship that proved most enduring was with Paul Magriel, an art dealer and balletomane. Mark Holgate, Vogue, 7 Jan. 2019 As the night’s honorary chair, Kennedy waxed nostalgic about her memories attending the ballet with her balletomane mother who served as a longtime ABT chairman. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 18 Oct. 2018 The performance would have astonished even the most seasoned of balletomanes. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 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, 1 Mar. 2018 Balletomanes familiar with the 19th-century ballet will recognize only a few images, mostly toward the end. Lauren Warnecke,, 20 May 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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Cite this Entry

“Balletomane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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