1

piano

adverb or adjective pi·a·no \ pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō \
Updated on: 23 Nov 2017

Definition of piano

: at a soft volume : soft used as a direction in music

Origin and Etymology of piano

Italian, from Late Latin planus smooth, from Latin, level — more at floor


2

piano

noun pi·ano \ pē-ˈa-(ˌ)nō also -ˈä- \

Definition of piano

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

  1. Do you play the piano?

  2. He takes piano lessons on Wednesdays.

Recent Examples of piano from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of piano

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


Piano

biographical name Pi·a·no \ pē-ˈä-(ˌ)nō \

Definition of Piano

Renzo 1937–     Italian architect


PIANO Defined for English Language Learners

piano

adverb

Definition of piano for English Language Learners

  • music : quietly or softly


piano

noun

Definition of piano for English Language Learners

  • : 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


PIANO Defined for Kids

piano

noun pi·a·no \ pē-ˈa-nō \

Definition of piano for Students

plural pianos
: a keyboard instrument having steel wire strings that make a sound when struck by hammers covered with felt

History for piano

When a harpsichord is played, pressing on the keys causes the strings to be plucked in such a way that loudness and softness cannot be controlled. Around 1700 an Italian instrument maker named Bartolomeo Cristofori invented a mechanism by which the strings of a harpsichord would be struck by felt-covered hammers. This device allowed the performer to play notes with varying degrees of loudness. In Italian this new instrument was called gravicembalo col piano e forte, “harpsichord with soft and loud.” The name was borrowed into English as pianoforte or fortepiano, which was eventually shortened to just piano.



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