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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pellet


pelletal \ ˈpe-​lə-​tᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for pellet

Synonyms: Noun

ball, bullet

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of pellet in a Sentence


the tightly packed pellets of a shotgun cartridge

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Marie, the 49-year-old Poe Lock, is large enough to handle the largest carriers that transport the vast majority of iron ore pellets used in North American steel production and other freight through the Lakes. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "New Soo Lock that could employ thousands in Michigan pushes forward," 29 June 2018 Evian factory manager Stephane Dupays describes how PET pellets are turned into water bottles. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, "Plastic Water Bottles, Which Enabled a Drinks Boom, Now Threaten a Crisis," 12 Dec. 2018 Eat two power pellets and call me in the morning On a certain level, psychologists have known this for years. Rob Reid, Ars Technica, "Ars on your lunch break: Repairing your brain with video games," 10 Oct. 2018 Thirty-nine pellets enter his head; two almost enter his brain, but stopped short. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Elites like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos think they’re being philanthropic. But they could do so much more.," 3 Oct. 2018 Government troops fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to quell the protests while authorities restricted movement in old quarters of the city. Fox News, "Clashes erupt around Kashmir after Indian troops kill man," 27 Sep. 2018 How is cubic poop more advantageous than pellets, tubes, coils, or just squishy piles? Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "BREAKING: Mystery of Square Wombat Poop Revealed," 20 Nov. 2018 Photo: Melissa Golden for The Wall Street Journal With plastic exports plunging, Mr. Song converted his export brokerage business to a plastic-pellet manufacturing company known as UPT Group Inc. Bob Tita, WSJ, "Chinese Firms Snap Up U.S. Sites to Process Scrap," 27 Oct. 2018 More realistic sellers ask for $2-30 a bear depending on its condition and what kind of pellets are inside (which collectors claim can indicate when and where the bear was made). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Hold On, Is the Princess Diana Beanie Baby Really Worth Six Figures?," 3 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pellet

Statistics for pellet

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pellet

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pellet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pellet

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pellet

Spanish Central: Translation of pellet

Nglish: Translation of pellet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pellet for Arabic Speakers

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).


esteemed in general opinion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
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!