bag·​pipe | \ˈbag-ˌpīp \

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

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Illustration of bagpipe

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Other Words from bagpipe

bagpiper \ˈbag-​ˌpī-​pər \ 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

White gloves and dress uniforms, bugles and bagpipes, an American flag suspended between firetrucks and a riderless horse — symbolizing a fallen warrior who never returned home — were all part of the ceremony honoring the life of the 35-year-old. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "‘He was the best of us’: Police and community honor fallen Kent Police Officer Diego Moreno," 31 July 2018 Her bagpipe first sounded as four Gazette reporters emerged from the crowd. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, "Annapolis mourns, to the sounds of bagpipes and of silence," 29 June 2018 Motch felt driven to improve his bagpipe skills for her. Lea Suzuki, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bagpiper inspires Ocean Beach visitors by playing eternal ode to mother," 13 May 2018 After the service, bagpipes played as dozens of uniformed officers lined Lehigh Avenue and Hutchins’ casket was carried from the church and hoisted onto a fire truck for his final ride. Kelly Brennan,, "Firefighter who died during training exercise is praised at funeral," 11 July 2018 Trump’s postprandial departure will be accompanied by Royal Regiment of Scotland playing the bagpipes, a tip of the hat perhaps to Trump’s Scottish-German heritage. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "In Britain, Trump will see castles and the queen and steer clear of protesters," 6 July 2018 Uniformed officers wheeled two caskets into the middle of Children's Mercy Park on Thursday, surrounded by flags, bouquets of flowers and bagpipe music. Ian Cummings, Glenn E. Rice, Lauren Fox, Katie Bernard And Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "'Thank you just isn't good enough.' Police, friends and family bid deputies farewell," 21 June 2018 But then, of course, the bagpipes blare, firmly establishing this song as a necessity on any respectable St. Patrick's Day playlist. Abby Jones, Billboard, "The Most Popular St. Patrick's Day Songs in the U.S., According to YouTube," 15 Mar. 2018 In sports, the various segments are trying to toot their bagpipes or kazoos in slow month of July, but there's already a massive brass section ready to sound the arrival of high school football. Scott Springer,, "Springer: Let the Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky high school football hype begin," 6 July 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

29 Nov 2018

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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 \

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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