1 of 2

adverb or adjective

pi·​a·​no pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce piano (audio)
: at a soft volume : soft
used as a direction in music


2 of 2


pi·​ano pē-ˈa-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce piano (audio)
-ˈä- How to pronounce piano (audio)
plural pianos
: 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
Layover, however, delves further back into the past, with its palette of jazzy pianos, warm bass, and fluttering flute solos pulling from V’s love for jazz and classical music. Michelle Hyun Kim, Rolling Stone, 8 Sep. 2023 The 28-year-old artist began playing piano from a young age and eventually found joy in writing her own lyrics and singing during junior high. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 7 Sep. 2023 The piano has a retail price of around $185,000; pianos featured in the sale range from $7,000 to $200,000. Elena Giardina, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Sep. 2023 The baby grand piano, considered the star lot, was bought in 1975 when Queen was gaining traction. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 7 Sep. 2023 Previously:Freddie Mercury's beloved piano, Queen song drafts, personal items on display before auction A collection of chopsticks once estimated to fetch 40-60 British pounds had a current bid 1,200 pounds ($1,500) on Wednesday. Brian Melley, USA TODAY, 7 Sep. 2023 Nevelson took piano lessons as a child and studied voice and drama as a young adult. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 Gould wasn’t entirely wrong about the format: the institution of the piano recital or the concerto resembles a battle, or a struggle, a feat of endurance and skill. Max Norman, The New Yorker, 5 Sep. 2023 The world’s slimmest digital piano features spruce key sides and new ebony-and-ivory key-tops that convey an authentic piano experience, while the mid-century modern design is suited to interiors where the instrument’s small scale is easily integrated. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 1 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'piano.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

Adverb Or Adjective

1683, in the meaning defined above


1772, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of piano was in 1683

Dictionary Entries Near piano

Cite this Entry

“Piano.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piano. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adverb or adjective
pi·​a·​no pē-ˈän-ō How to pronounce piano (audio)
: in a soft or quiet manner
used as a direction in music


2 of 2 noun
pi·​ano pē-ˈan-ō How to pronounce piano (audio)
plural pianos
: a musical instrument consisting of a large frame holding steel wire strings that sound when struck by felt-covered hammers which are operated from a keyboard


from Italian piano "a keyboard musical instrument," a shortened form of pianoforte, from piano "soft" and forte "loud"; so called because, unlike earlier keyboard instruments, it could be played with varying degrees of loudness

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Pi·​a·​no pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce Piano (audio)
Renzo 1937–     Italian architect

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