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[bal-uh-ree-nuh] /ˌbæl əˈri nə/
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.
Compare ballet slipper.
Origin of ballerina
1785-95; < Italian, feminine of ballerino professional dancer, probably equivalent to baller(ia) dance (ball(are) to dance (< Late Latin; see ball2) + -eria < Old French; see -ery) + -ino -ine1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ballerina
  • Be the belle of the ball with evening slippers or ballerina flats.
  • Imagine an ad that shows a toy ballerina standing alone and twirling.
  • However, the delayed diagnosis denied me a full recovery and cost me a career as a ballerina.
  • When you open the box the music plays and the ballerina starts to dance.
British Dictionary definitions for ballerina


a female ballet dancer
(US) the principal female dancer of a ballet company
Word Origin
C18: from Italian, feminine of ballerino dancing master, from ballare to dance, from Late Latin ballāre: see ball²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ballerina

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ballerina in Culture

ballerina definition

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

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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