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 bagpipe (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 Arkansas has a connection to Scotland in Lyon College at Batesville, whose athletic teams are the Scots, and which also has a great bagpipe band. Richard Mason, Arkansas Online, "Connections with a Scottish past," 4 Apr. 2021 Carl Phillips turns the syntax of a sentence into something like the chords of a bagpipe. Carl Phillips, New York Times, "Pale Colors in a Tall Field," 4 Mar. 2021 How did the idea come to create a group of bagpipe players with an electric guitar, electric piano and a marching snare? Sheryl Devore,, "Scottish bagipe rockers Red Hot Chilli Pipers perform virtually for CLC March 12," 3 Mar. 2021 Among the festivities is a virtual bagpipe band competition, whose grand prize is $1,500. Susan Dunne,, "Connecticut St. Patrick’s parades canceled; virtual and car parades will go on," 26 Feb. 2021 His energy and charisma reached far beyond the deck at the school, where he was known as the somewhat cheerful, bagpipe-playing swim-coach and history-teacher. Joshua Iversen, The Arizona Republic, "'You just keep swimming:' Chandler High moves forward after loss of beloved coach Croswhite to COVID-19," 17 Oct. 2020 The week-long digital celebration features Scottish ceilidh and bagpipe bands, harpists, Highland dancers and former U.S. national Scottish fiddling champ Melinda Crawford Perttu. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Have a picture-perfect Christmas: Valley Views," 22 Dec. 2020 The bagpipe is used for war, for entertainment, for funerals, for weddings. David Marchese, New York Times, "Yo-Yo Ma and the Meaning of Life," 20 Nov. 2020 Coming in at number 11, the audio track for the park features raindrops, crunching leaves, a bagpipe and other sounds of city life. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, "Take a Free Audio Tour of the World’s Most Relaxing Destinations," 10 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for bagpipe

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for bagpipe

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bagpipe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on bagpipe

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

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