bag·​pipe | \ ˈbag-ˌpīp How to pronounce bagpipe (audio) \

Definition of bagpipe

: 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

Illustration of bagpipe

Illustration of bagpipe

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Other Words from bagpipe

bagpiper \ ˈbag-​ˌpī-​pər How to pronounce bagpiper (audio) \ noun

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

The attorney general's bagpipe playing is far from just a hobby. Emily Tillett, CBS News, "Attorney General William Barr wows Justice Dept crowd with bagpipe playing," 26 June 2019 The sound of bagpipes will be heard in the distance this weekend as men and women dressed in Scottish garb demonstrate their skills and agility at the 46th annual San Diego Scottish Highland Games. San Diego Union-Tribune, "11 things to do in San Diego this weekend: San Diego Scottish Highland Games, Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-off, Old Globe’s ‘As You Like It’," 21 June 2019 Neighborhood floats and entries from community organizations, bagpipe bands, antique and classic cars. Lisa Herendeen, The Mercury News, "July 4th 2019: Here are the SF Bay Area’s parades, fireworks and more," 20 June 2019 But the Army assigned him to the music department, where he was taught to play the bagpipes. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, "Mohamed Morsi, Who Brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian Presidency," 19 June 2019 Before the results were announced, musicians played bagpipes to a saltire-waving crowd; the next day, unionists clashed with independence supporters, the former firing a flare, which led to violence and arrests. Rebecca Nathanson, Harper's magazine, "English Referendums and Scotch Voters," 19 June 2019 Thousands turned out for the Gaspee Days Parade, slurping Del’s lemonade as bagpipes wailed, Clydesdales clip-clopped down a red-white-and-blue centerline, and the air filled with acrid clouds of musket smoke. Edward Fitzpatrick,, "Once a desirable middle class destination, Warwick now faces financial stress," 13 June 2019 In Hell’s Kitchen on Manhattan’s West Side, kids are indeed learning to play the bagpipes—wheezing their way through traditional marches, jigs and hornpipes. Anne Kadet, WSJ, "Bagpipes or Urdu? After-School Options Multiply," 23 Oct. 2018 The entire Riverdance crew stayed there for about a week, including their jolly, rugged Celtic bagpipe player. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Stories of IRL Eloise: People Who Live in Hotels," 30 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bagpipe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bagpipe

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near bagpipe

bag of wind





bag pudding


Statistics for bagpipe

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for bagpipe

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

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More Definitions for bagpipe



English Language Learners Definition of bagpipe

: a musical instrument that is played especially in Scotland and that has a bag, a tube for blowing air into the bag, and pipes where the air leaves and makes sounds


bag·​pipe | \ ˈbag-ˌpīp How to pronounce bagpipe (audio) \

Kids Definition of bagpipe

: a musical instrument played especially in Scotland that consists of a tube, a bag for air, and pipes from which the sound comes

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More from Merriam-Webster on bagpipe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bagpipe

Spanish Central: Translation of bagpipe

Nglish: Translation of bagpipe for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bagpipe

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