adverb or adjective
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 How to pronounce piano (audio) 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 The altos and sopranos kept going on their own, while one among them played the piano. New York Times, "The Skagit Valley," 8 Apr. 2021 The pair played piano and sang together for an intimate rendition of Springsteen’s song. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, "Watch Lorde Cover Bruce Springsteen With Marlon Williams," 1 Apr. 2021 While serving in the Bush administration, Rice played the piano in public on multiple occasions. Fox News, "Condoleezza Rice: What to know about the barrier-breaking former secretary of state, national security adviser," 25 Mar. 2021 Many of the grants reflect the deep love that Conrad Prebys — who played piano in his youth — had for the arts, culture, the zoo, medical science and the welfare of children. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego arts, health, science and youth groups to share $71M from Prebys Foundation," 23 Mar. 2021 Martin played piano, while Howard closed the memoriam with fitting and uplifting words delivered as a warm sonic hug. Lyndsey Havens, Billboard, "Lionel Richie, Brittany Howard and More Deliver Powerful In Memoriam at 2021 Grammy Awards," 14 Mar. 2021 His mother sang and played piano and was a big supporter, and Benet would engross himself in his detective father's extensive classical music collection. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eric Benet tells all for ALLBLK's 'A Closer Look' documentary series. Here are five takeaways.," 8 Mar. 2021 He was involved in the teen club and occasionally played piano at Mass. Christy Gutowski, chicagotribune.com, "Third man alleges inappropriate behavior by beloved South Side priest Pfleger," 3 Mar. 2021 Then there is Barry Colson, who has played piano in bars at Davos during the WEF for 26 years. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, "Davos This Year: Silent Streets, Good Skiing," 25 Jan. 2021

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.

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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 19 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for piano



English Language Learners Definition of piano

 (Entry 1 of 2)

music : quietly or softly



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

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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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