pi·​a·​no | \ pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce piano (audio) \

Definition of piano

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: at a soft volume : soft used as a direction in music


pi·​ano | \ pē-ˈa-(ˌ)nō also -ˈä- How to pronounce piano (audio) \
plural pianos

Definition of piano (Entry 2 of 3)

: a musical instrument having steel wire strings that sound when struck by felt-covered hammers operated from a keyboard


biographical name
Pi·​a·​no | \ pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce Piano (audio) \

Definition of Piano (Entry 3 of 3)

Renzo 1937–     Italian architect

Examples of piano in a Sentence

Noun Do you play the piano? He takes piano lessons on Wednesdays.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As in every other car that goes for the piano black look, fingerprints and dust become more apparent. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "The 2020 Toyota Prius Prime plug-in proves pleasing, perhaps pedestrian," 14 Jan. 2020 Goebel's fandom has taken him to special places like the Pasadena home the Van Halen brothers grew up in, after immigrating from Holland with their parents, coming to America with just a few suitcases, about 15 bucks and a piano. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "Close encounters of the Van Halen kind," 8 Jan. 2020 The track above seamlessly meshes ghostly vocals, hip-hop beats, and a fierce piano to create something that sounds completely new. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "The best 2019 film and TV scores for every mood," 18 Dec. 2019 Or Chucho Valdes play a piano that surely must have more than the usual 88 keys? Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Commentary: Can jazz and classical music soothe our troubled times? Yes — if we really listen.," 11 Dec. 2019 Instead, grounded in the viola and piano, she was drawn to the backstage world of helping run performing arts organizations during a career that has spanned more than 20 years and taken her to places like Baltimore, Omaha and Denver. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Marcus Center picks Kendra Whitlock Ingram as president, chief executive officer," 11 Dec. 2019 Indeed, that first card dates back to 1947, and features then-Princess Elizabeth alongside Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, and King George VI, all gathered around a piano. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's Signed Christmas Cards for Staff Are So Sweet," 6 Dec. 2019 Buying a full-sized piano isn't an option for many households, but a digital keyboard, like one from Yamaha, suits all types of living spaces. Shannon Liao, CNN, "8 tech gadgets that work offline," 30 Nov. 2019 Ballog, who was beloved in his two decades at the Sokolowski’s piano, seemed to know every song and could play it on command when a customer walked in. Michael K. Mcintyre, cleveland, "New Sokolowski’s pianist played ‘As Time Goes By,’ got the job replacing a legend: Update," 29 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'piano.' 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 piano

Adverb or adjective

1683, in the meaning defined above


1772, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for piano

Adverb or adjective

Italian, from Late Latin planus smooth, from Latin, level — more at floor


Italian, short for pianoforte, from gravicembalo col piano e forte, literally, harpsichord with soft and loud; from the fact that its tones could be varied in loudness

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about piano

Time Traveler for piano

Time Traveler

The first known use of piano was in 1683

See more words from the same year

Statistics for piano

Cite this Entry

“Piano.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piano. Accessed 29 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for piano


How to pronounce Piano (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of piano

 (Entry 1 of 2)

music : quietly or softly


How to pronounce Piano (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of piano (Entry 2 of 2)

: a large musical instrument with a keyboard that you play by pressing black and white keys and that produces sound when small hammers inside the piano hit steel wires


pi·​a·​no | \ pē-ˈa-nō How to pronounce piano (audio) \
plural pianos

Kids Definition of piano

: a keyboard instrument having steel wire strings that make a sound when struck by hammers covered with felt

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on piano

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with piano

Spanish Central: Translation of piano

Nglish: Translation of piano for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of piano for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about piano

Comments on piano

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


to assert without proof or before proving

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

January 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • image1642096650
  • Which is a synonym of bonhomie?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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