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


Do you play the piano? He takes piano lessons on Wednesdays.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Those of us who are pianophiles always will find the piece a bit off kilter, in that the quartet’s contrast between piano and strings provided much of the work’s inherent tension and appeal. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "CSO review: A rousing debut by conductor Simone Young," 7 June 2019 The first is to place the spoon on the nearest available surface, which Miss Manners hopes is not the piano or the cat. Judith Martin, The Mercury News, "Miss Manners: I told my boyfriend his request was unfair, and he stalked off," 6 June 2019 The injury forced him to switch to piano and organ as his primary instruments. Gavin Edwards, New York Times, "Dr. John, of Voodoo Beads, Feathers and New Orleans Sound, Dies at 77," 6 June 2019 As his website states, Kodi is a savant and has been playing piano and singing across the world for years. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'AGT' Star Kodi Lee Has an Unbelievably Inspiring Story You Need to Hear," 29 May 2019 To meet a certain piano player called Reg Dwight, who I’ve been informed will be somewhere hereabouts. Harper's BAZAAR, "Brandi Carlile Pays Homage to Elton John, as Bernie Taupin Recalls First Meeting the Legend," 28 May 2019 Someone had that idea—let’s take an old piano and turn it into a bar. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Inside Every Interior Designer's Favorite Account on Instagram," 17 May 2019 When my mother was little, Albert Einstein played violin in their home in Germany while Max played piano. Marc Myers, WSJ, "‘Grease’ Star Olivia Newton-John Began as Hopelessly Devoted to a Singing Career," 2 Apr. 2019 Buttigieg also plays piano and has been known to join local performers on stage in South Bend — video of which sometimes pops up on social media. Sara Burnett, The Seattle Times, "Buttigieg gains with crowds, TV spots and campaign cash," 26 Mar. 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.

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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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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

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 move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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