Definition of ballet in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbaleɪ/


[mass noun]
1An artistic dance form performed to music, using precise and highly formalized set steps and gestures. Classical ballet, which originated in Renaissance Italy and established its present form during the 19th century, is characterized by light, graceful movements and the use of pointe shoes with reinforced toes.
Example sentences
  • However, with modern ballet dance comes greater foot support through modern pointe ballet shoes and trained technique.
  • I take ballet, jazz, and Pointe, which is ballet on toe shoes.
  • There is an increasingly fine line nowadays between some modern dance and classical ballet.
1.1 [count noun] A creative work or performance of ballet, or the music written for it.
Example sentences
  • This is the last of the evening-length ballets Prokofiev wrote in the Soviet Union.
  • By the end of 1777 he was writing operas and ballets in Naples.
  • Whether this is the only way to make ballets now, interpreting music, certainly begs questioning.
1.2 [treated as singular or plural] A group of dancers who regularly perform ballets: the Bolshoi Ballet
More example sentences
  • To avoid open conflict during the performance, the ballet group omitted several controversial pieces.
  • Thompson will be only the third official executive director hired by the ballet in almost two decades.
  • Independent Ballet Wales bring this classical folk tale to life mixing explosive dance and classical ballet in a truly unforgettable evening.


Mid 17th century: from French, from Italian balletto, diminutive of ballo 'a dance', from late Latin ballare 'to dance' (see ball2).

Words that rhyme with ballet

Calais, chalet, Hallé, palais, pis aller

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bal¦let

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