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[pel-it] /ˈpɛl ɪt/
a small, rounded or spherical body, as of food or medicine.
a small wad or ball of wax, paper, etc., for throwing, shooting, or the like.
one of a charge of small shot, as for a shotgun.
a bullet.
a ball, usually of stone, formerly used as a missile.
Also called cast. Ornithology. a small, roundish mass of matter regurgitated by certain predatory birds, consisting of the indigestible remains, as the fur, feathers, and bones, of the prey.
(in Romanesque architecture) a hemispherical or disklike carved ornament.
Heraldry. ogress2 .
verb (used with object)
to form into pellets; pelletize.
to hit with pellets.
Origin of pellet
1325-75; Middle English pelet < Middle French pelote < Vulgar Latin *pilotta, diminutive of Latin pila ball. See pill1, -et
Related forms
pelletlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pellet
  • If the birds found a moth, they were rewarded with a food pellet.
  • With the upturn in pellet stoves, we've started producing wood pellets here.
  • On the right is a pre-production plastic pellet also known as a mermaid's tear.
  • Similarly, the metal pellet idea fails to consider the electricity that goes into turning bauxite into aluminum.
  • Wildlife rangers have been armed with chemical sprays, pellet guns and slingshots.
  • There's certainly less risk than when all this stuff was in pellet form, which was quite appealing to dogs, and even some cats.
  • The element, in pellet form, was found by her husband under the floor mats of their family car.
  • pellet stoves have grown in popularity as a home heating source.
  • Permits for the installation of wood stoves, pellet stoves or fireplace inserts can only be issued for certified appliances.
British Dictionary definitions for pellet


a small round ball, esp of compressed matter: a wax pellet
  1. an imitation bullet used in toy guns
  2. a piece of small shot
a stone ball formerly used as a catapult or cannon missile
(ornithol) Also called cast, casting. a mass of undigested food, including bones, fur, feathers, etc, that is regurgitated by certain birds, esp birds of prey
a small pill
a raised area on coins and carved or moulded ornaments
verb (transitive)
to strike with pellets
to make or form into pellets
Word Origin
C14: from Old French pelote, from Vulgar Latin pilota (unattested), from Latin pila ball
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 pellet

mid-14c., from Old French pelote "small ball" (11c.), from Vulgar Latin *pilotta, diminutive of Latin pila "ball, playing ball, the game of ball," perhaps originally "ball of hair," from pilus "hair" (see pile (n.3)).


"to form into pellets," 1590s, from pellet (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pellet in Medicine

pellet pel·let (pěl'ĭt)

  1. A small pill; a pilule.

  2. A small rod-shaped or ovoid mass, as of compressed steroid hormones, intended for subcutaneous implantation in body tissues to provide timed release over an extended period of time.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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