pe·​lo·​ta pə-ˈlō-tə How to pronounce pelota (audio)
: a court game related to jai alai
: the ball used in jai alai

Examples of pelota in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To speed up the sport, Magic City has reduced the traditional fronton by nearly 60 feet (18 meters) and replaced the goatskin ball — as hard as a hockey puck — with a bouncier pelota that ricochets against plexiglass instead of the traditional granite wall. Joshua Goodman,, 28 Mar. 2022 Dubbed the world’s fastest ball sport, jai alai involves players hurling and catching a pelota with a cesta on a three-walled court. Arian Campo-Flores, WSJ, 30 Mar. 2022 Athletes competed in a variety of sports and other competitions, including Basque pelota, croquet and tug of war, but there were no opening or closing ceremonies. Kori Rumore,, 3 Aug. 2021 The games includes the centuries-old pelota mixteca (Mixtec-style ball) and variant called pelota de esponja (sponge ball), both played with decorated mitts that combine indigenous design with contemporary logos. Carolina A. Miranda,, 12 July 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pelota.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish, from Old French pelote little ball — more at pellet

First Known Use

1807, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pelota was in 1807

Dictionary Entries Near pelota

Cite this Entry

“Pelota.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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