horn·​pipe | \ ˈhȯrn-ˌpīp How to pronounce hornpipe (audio) \

Definition of hornpipe

1 : a single-reed wind instrument consisting of a wooden or bone pipe with finger holes, a bell, and mouthpiece usually of horn
2 : a lively folk dance of the British Isles originally accompanied by hornpipe playing

Examples of hornpipe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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 audience may hear jigs, waltzes, mazurkas, reels, hornpipes and more. Courant Community, "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 29 May 2018 The trumpets and horns, facing off on opposite sides of the ensemble, created an energetic, pealing, antiphonal effect in the final hornpipe. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee Symphony stirs brilliant waves in 'Become Ocean'," 8 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of hornpipe

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hornpipe

Time Traveler for hornpipe

Time Traveler

The first known use of hornpipe was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for hornpipe

Cite this Entry

“Hornpipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hornpipe. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on hornpipe

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hornpipe

Comments on hornpipe

What made you want to look up hornpipe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!