pi·​a·​no | \pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō \

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- \
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 \

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

Her father also played the piano for her renditions of popular holiday songs. Temi Adebowale, Country Living, "Who Is Molly McCook? All About the ‘Last Man Standing’ Actress Who Plays the New Mandy," 12 Oct. 2018 As a result of the diagnosis, Shin was reportedly forced to choose between playing the piano and pursuing magic. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'America's Got Talent' Winner Shin Lim's Serious Injury Nearly Cost Him His Magic Career," 20 Sep. 2018 Some contestants sang songs, others played the piano, a couple delivered spoken word monologues – and then came Miss Connecticut, Bridget Oei, who performed an Irish step dance and moonwalked. Emily Yahr, The Seattle Times, "Miss America 2019: The best, worst and weirdest moments from the swimsuit-free competition," 10 Sep. 2018 The keyboardists switch from clean piano sounds to ominous organ chords. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Terrence Mann Kills It As 'Sweeney Todd' At CT Rep," 26 June 2018 The tracks build from piano and earnest percussion toward sometimes lavish instrumentation; the saxophonist Kamasi Washington did arrangements for French horn, tuba, flute and bass clarinet. Melena Ryzik, New York Times, "‘I Never Thought I Would Talk About It.’ So Florence Welch Put It in a Song.," 14 June 2018 The instrumental forces varied from solo piano to small chamber ensemble — with, interestingly, not a single vocal work among them. Peter Dobrin, Philly.com, "Network for New Music's Linda Reichert feted with new works," 30 Apr. 2018 In some passages, O’Neal liberated himself from the piano, singing directly and robustly to the audience. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "The many facets of Johnny O'Neal play out at Winter’s Jazz Club," 1 Apr. 2018 Although both ships already aim to make passengers feel more like residents than guests, these 2,500-square-foot suites, with their ebony baby grand pianos and mahogany and quartzite bars, push the vision further. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "Oceania Cruises Celebrates Ralph Lauren Partnership with 'Re-Mastered' Suites," 10 Oct. 2018

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

The first known use of piano was in 1683

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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 \
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 enclose within walls

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