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 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 After Warren gave her stump speech, focusing on rooting out corruption in government, Legend came back to perform a few songs on a baby grand piano. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "John Legend serenades voters for Warren by stressing 'brilliance' over electability," 27 Feb. 2020 In 1983, the Condor made the front page of The Chronicle after a hydraulic piano crushed one of its workers. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: The California presidential campaign hiring boom," 13 Feb. 2020 In 1983, the Condor made the front page of The Chronicle after a hydraulic piano crushed one of its workers. Annie Vainshtein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Getting intimate at the Condor," 13 Feb. 2020 The most expensive inventory includes one-of-kind items, such as a $2,500 baby grand piano on display in the hotel's lobby. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "Everything must go: Grand piano, ballroom chandelier on sale Friday at Millennium Hotel liquidation sale," 30 Jan. 2020 Although details of John's role on the series are still being kept officially under wraps, a recent promo clip for the episode shows John onstage behind a piano, which seems to hint that the Grammy winner will be playing himself. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Got Emotional on Instagram About John Legend's New Song," 11 Jan. 2020 The highlight for Karl was his museum’s prized possession: a piano built by Riedlingen native Conrad Graf and owned by Beethoven himself. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Miller Brewing's founder is all but forgotten in his hometown, but one German brewery hasn't given up on 'Old Fred'," 27 Nov. 2019 Hear these and other French gems along with spellbinding Mazurakas and waltzes by piano royalty, Chopin. SFChronicle.com, "Hélène Grimaud in Recital at the San Francisco Symphony," 28 Feb. 2020 The project continues with the complete cycle of piano sonatas all 32 of them- performed in consecutive order by 28 different pianists.2, 5 and 8 p.m. Feb. 16. Shane Harrison, ajc, "Things to do in and around Atlanta: Feb. 14-22," 13 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for piano

Time Traveler

The first known use of piano was in 1683

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Statistics for piano

Cite this Entry

“Piano.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piano. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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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

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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

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