a principal female dancer in a ballet company.
Compare prima ballerina.
any female ballet dancer.
a woman’s very low-heeled or heelless shoe or slipper, made to resemble a ballet slipper.
Contemporary Examples

For the record: A bloody toe for a ballerina is like a bruise for a boxer: ho-hum.
Butchery at the Ballet Toni Bentley February 24, 2011

He was bisexual and a ballerina, and this was while I was at the Atlantic Theater Company in Vermont.
Jessica Alba on ‘Sin City,’ Typecasting, and How Homophobia Pushed Her Away From the Church Marlow Stern August 17, 2014

Fact: Penelope Cruz was actually a ballerina for nine years.
Natalie Portman, Black Swan, and the Death of the ‘Triple Threat’ Tricia Romano March 29, 2011

A ballerina without her legs and feet is like a writer without words or a singer without a voice: not one.
Butchery at the Ballet Toni Bentley February 24, 2011

As a ballerina, to embody the duality of the Swan Queen and the black swan can be a fiendishly difficult task.
The Ballerina’s Curse Wendy Whelan December 3, 2010

Historical Examples

You know, my daughter is ballerina and so even I have pictures somewhere with her.
Warren Commission (9 of 26): Hearings Vol. IX (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

A duke sent me an invitation to take supper with him, as if I were a ballerina!
The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath

She could dance like a ballerina by herself, but she could not count “one-two-three-four” twice in succession.
In a Little Town Rupert Hughes

It might have been the cell where years ago a ballerina was immured for a wrong step.
Carnival Compton Mackenzie

Yes; my daughter, she was here, and she is a ballerina and she was visiting Dallas a few times and she knew some people here.
Warren Commission (9 of 26): Hearings Vol. IX (of 15) The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

a female ballet dancer
(US) the principal female dancer of a ballet company

1792, from Italian ballerina, literally “dancing girl,” fem. of ballerino “dancer,” from ballo “a dance” (see ball (n.2)). The Italian plural form ballerine formerly sometimes was used in English.

In ballet, a female dancer. (See prima ballerina.)


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  • Ballet blanc

    a ballet in which the ballerinas’ skirts are white.

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  • Ballet flat

    a shoe with a very flat heel or no heel, resembling a ballet slipper worn by dancers.

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