bagpipe

noun

bag·​pipe ˈbag-ˌpīp How to pronounce bagpipe (audio)
: a wind instrument consisting of a reed melody pipe and from one to five drones with air supplied continuously either by a bag with valve-stopped mouth tube or by bellows
often used in plural
bagpiper noun

Illustration of bagpipe

Illustration of bagpipe

Did you know?

This is a wind instrument that consists of two or more single- or double-reed pipes. The reeds are vibrated by wind caused by arm pressure on a skin or cloth bag. The pipes are held in wooden sockets tied into the bag, which is inflated either by the mouth or by bellows strapped to the body. Melodies are played on the finger holes of the melody pipe, or chanter, while the remaining pipes, or drones, sound single notes. Bagpipes existed by c. 100 ce. The early bag was an animal bladder or a nearly whole sheepskin or goatskin. Bagpipes have always been folk instruments. An important related instrument is the Irish union (or uilleann) pipes.

Examples of bagpipe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Wear green and enjoy bagpipes, drink specials, Irish dancers and more. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 13 Mar. 2024 This local parade and festival with bands, floats, bagpipes, beer and much more has been celebrating all things Irish for over 40 years. The San Diego Union-Tribune Staff, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2024 Following his death in 2018, Billy returned home from his mountaintop home in Montreat, N.C. Billy Graham’s funeral had more than 2,000 invitees, a live stream, a bagpipe escort and 100 delegates from 50 countries. Julia Coin, Charlotte Observer, 29 Feb. 2024 This annual celebration features all sorts of live entertainment from Celtic rock and bagpipes to Irish folk music and dancing, authentic Irish foods and beverages, an Irish marketplace with more than 250 vendors, a firefighters pancake breakfast, roaming leprechauns, carnival rides and a parade. Brittany Delay, The Mercury News, 8 Mar. 2024 The family-friendly event will have Highland dancing competitions, bagpipe bands, historic reenactments, field and track events, plus more. Chyna Blackmon, Charlotte Observer, 4 Mar. 2024 Decades of growing Irish patriotism resulted in Irish Aid societies and annual parades of bagpipes and drums. USA TODAY, 15 Jan. 2024 The mass of Boy Scouts who traditionally accompany the Latin Patriarch’s procession into the city — 28 troops’ worth, blasting bagpipes — has been pared down to a single silent troop. Sufian Taha, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2023 The episode involves a character attacking others with a bowl of black pudding and another defending himself with a bagpipe. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bagpipe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bagpipe was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near bagpipe

Cite this Entry

“Bagpipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bagpipe. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

bagpipe

noun
bag·​pipe ˈbag-ˌpīp How to pronounce bagpipe (audio)
: a musical instrument played especially in Scotland that consists of a bag for air, a mouth tube for blowing up the air bag, and pipes which give a sound when air passes through them
often used in plural
bagpiper noun

More from Merriam-Webster on bagpipe

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