pel·​let | \ ˈpe-lət How to pronounce pellet (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pelletal (audio) \ 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

Security officers in Kashmir use shotguns to control crowds; hundreds of young Kashmiris have been blinded by shotgun pellets. Sameer Yasir, New York Times, "With Pens, Paper and Motorcycles, Journalists Chronicle Kashmir Crackdown," 12 Aug. 2019 Operating in a region with massive deposits of natural gas, the plant Trump visited is designed to turn that gas into small plastic pellets used to make things like phone cases and auto parts. John Fritze, USA TODAY, "'Make sure we win': Donald Trump mixes 2020 politics into Pennsylvania energy speech," 10 Aug. 2019 At least eight people were reportedly wounded by shotgun pellets Friday as security forces tried to subdue protesters gathered by the thousands in the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar. Washington Post, "World Digest: Aug. 10, 2019," 10 Aug. 2019 He was hit by pellets in both eyes and the doctors are observing his condition before operating. Fahad Shah / Srinagar, Time, "‘Anxiety Fills the Air.' What It's Like Inside Kashmir When All Communication With the Outside World Is Cut Off," 7 Aug. 2019 These appliances are fired by charcoal, hardwood pellets, and propane gas. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "Your Ultimate Grill Buying Guide—Tested and Approved," 18 July 2019 Hodge sustained superficial wounds—birdshot pellets in the abdomen and thighs. Frank Viviano, The New York Review of Books, "Atrocities America Forgot," 6 June 2019 The second sign was shot up 317 times with either bullets or shotgun pellets, before officials with the Emmett Till Memorial Commission removed it. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Ole Miss Students Who Posed With Guns In Front Of Emmett Till Memorial Suspended From Frat," 26 July 2019 The second sign was blasted with 317 bullets or shotgun pellets before the Emmett Till Memorial Commission officials removed it. Jerry Mitchell, USA TODAY, "3 students posed with guns in front of Emmett Till's memorial. They could face a civil rights investigation," 25 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fill them with the tiny wood smoker pellets that look like rabbit feed to add a lengthy, thick smoke boost whenever it is needed. Chuck Blount,, "The 6 best new grilling gadgets to buy now," 5 Aug. 2019 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

17 Aug 2019

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 How to pronounce pellet (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pellet (audio) \

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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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).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

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