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

Definition of piano

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


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

Definition of piano (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Examples of piano in a Sentence

Noun Do you play the piano? He takes piano lessons on Wednesdays.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the news conference, those advocates highlighted Whitfield's skill at the piano. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 9 May 2022 After noticing my mother at the piano, all thought of auditioning for the other group faded. San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 May 2022 Mary, the middle, boring Bennet, arose from her chair and took a seat at the piano. Ginny Hogan, The New Yorker, 26 Apr. 2022 Miles gave a dynamic performance, starting at the piano before getting up to show off her magical falsetto. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2022 After becoming regretful over the decision, Jack shaved off his beard in solidarity and the two went out on a date, where Rebecca spontaneously decided to sing at the piano — a moment that ran parallel to her present-day wedding performance. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, 19 Apr. 2022 Dylan did not play guitar; he was seated at a piano, facing his fans, and did walk offstage a couple of times, perhaps to bask in the adulation of the crowd. Arkansas Online, 12 Apr. 2022 Directed by Luke Bern Carr, the video draws inspiration from the satirical 1971 television special The Music of Nilsson, which stars Harry Nilsson and multiple iterations of himself who manifest to harmonize with him at the piano. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 5 Apr. 2022 The performance began with Bieber alone, center stage, seated at a piano. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 3 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Piano.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piano. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for piano


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

Piano biographical name

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

Definition of Piano

Renzo 1937–     Italian architect

More from Merriam-Webster on piano

Nglish: Translation of piano for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of piano for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about piano


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