bal·let (bă-lā, bălā′)
1. A classical dance form characterized by grace and precision of movement and by elaborate formal gestures, steps, and poses.
2. A theatrical presentation of group or solo dancing to a musical accompaniment, usually with costume and scenic effects, conveying a story or theme.
3. A musical composition written or used for this dance form.
[French, from Italian balletto, diminutive of ballo, dance, from ballare, to dance; see BALLERINA.]
bal·letic (bă-lĕtĭk) adj.
(click for a larger image)ballet
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.