tu·​tu ˈtü-(ˌ)tü How to pronounce tutu (audio)
: a short projecting skirt worn by a ballerina

Illustration of tutu

Illustration of tutu

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Your elf will be ready to put on the performance on a lifetime with a tutu and special stand. Corinne Sullivan, Good Housekeeping, 11 Nov. 2022 No one expected to see the leader of King Crimson dancing in a tutu on YouTube. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2022 In this production, the dancer playing the Snow Queen is 7 1/2 months pregnant, the Nutcracker Prince is played by a woman, a gender nonconforming dancer is playing both male and female roles, and almost everyone gets to wear a tutu. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Dec. 2022 Clark, wearing a tutu and a padded headband, stepped gingerly onto the ice, clutching Mefford’s hand. Zach Helfand, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2022 Monroe wore an all-white ensemble that included a tutu and tiara, while Moroccan sported a red sweatshirt and black pants with a gold chain around his neck. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2022 Chris Bland, a 47-year-old manager at Sav-a-Lot, stops by, wearing a black ball cap and hoodie, holding a toddler girl in a tutu and hot-pink jacket. Time, 4 Nov. 2022 The first was the tutu outfit Sarah Jessica Parker wears in the opening credits. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 31 Oct. 2022 Also, remember that video of a young Brazilian girl doing kick flips in a tutu and fairy wings that went viral a few years ago, Kim asks excitedly? Macaela Mackenzie, Glamour, 28 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tutu.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


French, from (baby talk) tutu backside

First Known Use

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tutu was in 1913

Dictionary Entries Near tutu

Cite this Entry

“Tutu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tutu. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


tu·​tu ˈtü-tü How to pronounce tutu (audio)
: a short skirt that extends out and is worn by a ballerina

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Desmond Mpilo 1931–2021 South African clergyman and political activist

More from Merriam-Webster on tutu

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