One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The principal male dancer of a ballet company; a skilled or renowned male ballet dancer.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Noel Humphreys (1807–1879), graphic artist and author. From Italian primo ballerino (although this is apparently first attested slightly later: 1847 or earlier) from primo first + ballerino.
primo ballerino/ˌpriːməʊ baləˈriːnəʊ/
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