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

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

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Examples of pellet in a Sentence

Noun the tightly packed pellets of a shotgun cartridge
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The pellet, a naltrexone implant, was inserted near a patient's abdomen and released medication to help curb cravings and blocked the brain's opiate receptors. CBS News, "Surgeon charged in scheme to pay addicts to receive experimental implant," 11 July 2020 In addition to the large-scale wood pellet operations in the Southeast, more than 25 other states, from Maine to Hawaii, have biomass plants generating electricity by burning wood. Jane Braxton Little, Wired, "The Debate Over Burning Dead Trees to Create Biomass Energy," 27 June 2020 Stephanie McRae leaned into the bed of her husband's 1997 Ford F-150 to slide in an enormous pellet smoker for her son on Father's Day, as grandson Kameron Runge watched. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Pickup truck love has America addicted, willing to sacrifice alcohol and coffee and ...," 22 June 2020 Police spotted a second machete the man had been carrying and found a pellet pistol and pellets in his jacket pocket. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Wanted man runs from police near CVS Pharmacy; sucker punch leads to brouhaha on Holland Road: Brook Park Police Blotter," 19 June 2020 The truth is, a No. 6 pellet fired at any particular speed carries the same energy whether it is fired from a 12 gauge or a 28 gauge. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, "Best Shotguns: 7 Great 28 Gauges for Upland Hunting," 15 June 2020 In 2004, a 21-year-old Boston woman was hit in the eye and killed by a pepper spray pellet fired by police to disperse crowds celebrating the city’s World Series win. NBC News, "What are rubber bullets? Weapons used on George Floyd protesters can maim and kill," 3 June 2020 In 2004, a 21-year-old Boston woman was hit in the eye and killed by a pepper spray pellet fired by police to disperse crowds celebrating the city’s World Series win. Liz Szabo, USA TODAY, "Rubber bullets can kill, blind or maim people for life. Authorities continue to use them.," 3 June 2020 In 2004, a 21-year-old Boston woman was hit in the eye and killed by a pepper spray pellet fired by police to disperse crowds celebrating the city's World Series win. Liz Szabo, CNN, "Police using rubber bullets on protestors that can blind, maim or kill," 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb NC State Veterinary Hospital recommends pelleted feed formulated specifically for chinchillas. Jo Yurcaba, Woman's Day, "What to Know About Having a Chinchilla Pet," 23 Oct. 2019 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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Time Traveler for pellet

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for pellet

Last Updated

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pellet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for pellet


How to pronounce pellet (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pellet

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pellet

Spanish Central: Translation of pellet

Nglish: Translation of pellet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pellet for Arabic Speakers

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