Definition of pellet in English:


Line breaks: pel¦let
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛlɪt


  • 1A small, rounded, compressed mass of a substance: fish food pellets
    More example sentences
    • Today I noticed that as soon as I dropped a few of the smelly fish food pellets into the water they started to fight over them.
    • Wiley and three co-workers pour 10 metric tons of food pellets into the pens each day and monitor the fish with underwater video cameras to see when they stop eating.
    • To give one example, a red pellet could contain substances such as potassium perchlorate and strontium carbonate, besides pitch as fuel and starch as binder.
    little ball, little piece
    technical prill
  • 1.1A piece of small shot or other lightweight bullet: he had also been struck by a number of shotgun pellets
    More example sentences
    • These can be easily missed or confused with wounds from shot gun pellets or small caliber bullets.
    • The same cannot be said for shotgun pellets, bullets, snares or traps.
    • The police responded by firing rubber bullets, wooden pellets, and tear gas into the crowd.
    bullet, shot, lead shot, buckshot
  • 1.2A small mass of bones and feathers regurgitated by a bird of prey: owl pellets
    More example sentences
    • Prey is often swallowed whole, and the fur, feathers, and bones are later regurgitated in pellets.
    • Since the mid-1980s, his team has been studying a great skua breeding colony, analyzing bones and feathers in pellets that skuas cough up after feeding.
    • Indigestible materials like fur, feathers and insect exoskeletons, if swallowed, are regurgitated in a pellet.
  • 1.3A small round piece of animal faeces, especially from a rabbit or rodent.
    More example sentences
    • For the rabbit scent, two to three fecal pellets were placed in the runway within 20 cm on either side of the tile.
    • These specialized fertilizers include compost and processed animal manure pellets.
    • Some tunnels are hollow, with walls consolidated by a mucous secretion; others are packed with fecal pellets, indicating that the animal was eating its way through the sediment.

verb (pellets, pelleting, pelleted)

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Form (a substance) into pellets: the business made its name pelleting sugar beet seed (as adjective pelleted) pelleted forms of fertilizer
    More example sentences
    • If you can find a feed mill that grinds its own mash frequently that is a better choice than preserved, pelleted food (which may contain cheap, low-quality ingredients).
    • Material was spun at 6000 rpm for 1 min to pellet nucleic acid, and supernatant was removed to a clean tube.
    • Acid insoluble material was pelleted by centrifugation at 14,000 x g for 10 min and the supernatant was mixed with 1/4 volume 100% trichloroacetic acid and incubated on ice for 1 hr.
  • 2Hit with or as if with pellets: the last drops of rain were pelleting the windshield
    More example sentences
    • It was teaming, the type rain that pellets the ground and makes grooves.


late Middle English: from Old French pelote 'metal ball', from a diminutive of Latin pila 'ball'.

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