pel·let | \ ˈpe-lət \

Definition of pellet 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a usually small rounded, spherical, or cylindrical body (as of food or medicine)

b : a wad of indigestible material (as of bones and fur) regurgitated by a bird of prey

2 : any of various projectiles fired from a weapon (such as an air rifle)


pelleted; pelleting; pellets

Definition of pellet (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : pelletize

2 : to strike with pellets

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Other words from pellet


pelletal \ˈpe-lə-tᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for pellet

Synonyms: Noun

ball, bullet

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Examples of pellet in a Sentence


the tightly packed pellets of a shotgun cartridge

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Fountains of air surge upward inside the growing thundercloud and push the tiniest ice crystals upward, but the larger ice pellets continue to fall, so there are constant collisions. Helen Czerski, WSJ, "A Crash Course in Summer Thunderstorms," 27 June 2018 The cane sugar in a Mexican Coke is a treat, and the pellet ice gives you something refreshing to chew on. Kim Severson, New York Times, "The Best Road Trip Snacks, Ranked," 22 May 2018 The digital interface, which changes the grill temperature by adjusting how quickly the pellets are fed into the fire pit, makes cooking virtually foolproof. Ariella Gintzler, Outside Online, "Traeger Goes Mini with New Portable Grills," 19 June 2018 There is no warren for you, no place underground to eat the soft pellets from your bottom that bring sustenance once again, like memories do, no place to rest and tell stories. Peter Rock, New York Times, "On the Unsettling Allure of ‘Watership Down’," 15 May 2018 This strange, icy, pellet-like precipitation is technically sleet. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Wintry mix causes dangerously icy conditions in the D.C. region Monday evening," 8 Jan. 2018 Small white plastic pellets and tattered bottle caps and shampoo caps can be seen on several of the shores and floating in the water. Rick Kambic,, "Libertyville pond to be cleaned, waterways inspected after spill at industrial park," 13 July 2018 As the rebels and soldiers fought, government forces also fired bullets, shotgun pellets and tear gas at the protesters who tried to reach the gunbattle site. Fox News, "2 rebels, teen killed during fighting, protests in Kashmir," 10 July 2018 The victim shaved a portion of the cat and discovered three BB pellets. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland police blotter," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Spread a light layer of compost or pelleted seed establishment mulch over the new seed to help keep it moist. Tim Johnson,, "Lawn thinning out beneath a cluster of trees? Too much shade could be wreaking havoc," 10 July 2018 Snow pellets form when supercooled water droplets are collected and freeze on falling snowflakes. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Light snow showers and snow pellets possible today in southeastern Wisconsin," 21 Dec. 2017

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pellet


Middle English pelote, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *pilota, diminutive of Latin pila ball

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Statistics for pellet

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pellet

The first known use of pellet was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for pellet



English Language Learners Definition of pellet

: a small, hard ball of food, medicine, etc.

: a small metal object that is shot from a gun


pel·let | \ ˈpe-lət \

Kids Definition of pellet

1 : a little ball (as of food or medicine)

2 : a piece of small shot

3 : a wad of material (as bones and fur) that cannot be digested and has been thrown up by a bird of prey (as an owl)


pel·let | \ ˈpel-ət \

Medical Definition of pellet 

: a usually small rounded or spherical body specifically : a small cylindrical or ovoid compressed mass (as of a hormone) that is implanted subcutaneously for slow absorption into bodily tissues

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Comments on pellet

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


characteristic trappings or dress

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