a classical dance form demanding grace and precision and employing formalized steps and gestures set in intricate, flowing patterns to create expression through movement.
a theatrical entertainment in which ballet dancing and music, often with scenery and costumes, combine to tell a story, establish an emotional atmosphere, etc.
an interlude of ballet in an operatic performance.
a company of ballet dancers.
the musical score for a ballet:
the brilliant ballets of Tchaikovsky.
a dance or balletlike performance:
an ice-skating ballet.
Contemporary Examples

They wanted their own Obama as president; they got the French Rahm Emanuel—minus the ballet skills.
A Presidential Double Date Eric Pape March 29, 2010

As he told the Times: “What you will see on Thursday is not a ballet, it is a haute couture show.”
Behind the Scenes at Valentino’s Ballet Isabel Wilkinson September 20, 2012

And yet she chose to write her essay about giving up on ballet, rather than persevering once she’d tired of it.
How to Write a Winning Ivy League Essay Kathleen Kingsbury October 24, 2009

But, slipping my feet back into ballet flats, I had a moment of yearning to be back in the moon shoe.
Summer’s Ugliest Trend? Sneaker Wedges Should Be Banned! Isabel Wilkinson May 29, 2012

The Tongil Group has its own newspaper, the Washington Times, as well as a football team and a ballet company.
Twilight of the Moonies and Scientologists? Peter Popham September 15, 2012

Historical Examples

And never danced a tango, plus forte raison, or saw a Russian ballet.
The Third Window Anne Douglas Sedgwick

I have given the necessary orders to the cook for you, and for the ballet.
The Middle Class Gentleman Moliere

The delicate daintiness of the Danish ballet everyone must appreciate.
Denmark M. Pearson Thomson

The novice hardly believes his eyes: the ballet dancer is also a man.
The Sexual Question August Forel

Has the ballet declined on this account, or is this to be ascribed to the decline of the ballet?
A Book of the Play Dutton Cook


a classical style of expressive dancing based on precise conventional steps with gestures and movements of grace and fluidity
(as modifier): ballet dancer

a theatrical representation of a story or theme performed to music by ballet dancers
a troupe of ballet dancers
a piece of music written for a ballet

1660s, from French ballette from Italian balletto, diminutive of ballo “a dance” (see ball (n.2)). Balletomane attested by 1930.

Theatrical entertainment in which dancers, usually accompanied by music, tell a story or express a mood through their movements. The technique of ballet is elaborate and requires many years of training. Two classical ballets are Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Two great modern ballets are The Rite of Spring, composed by Igor Stravinsky, and Fancy Free, by Leonard Bernstein.


Read Also:

  • Ballet flat

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

  • Ballet master

    a man who trains a ballet company. Historical Examples The groomsmen, carefully chosen to match, stepped as though trained by a ballet master. The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Vol. 6 Guy de Maupassant He went to Turin as ballet master and met Somis, who induced him to take up the violin and apply himself […]

  • Ballet mistress

    a woman who trains a ballet company.

  • Ballet slipper

    a heelless cloth or leather slipper worn by ballet dancers. a woman’s shoe similar in form.

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