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 How to pronounce piano (audio) 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 The marauders entered the house and took an ax to the family piano. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 1 June 2021 The legendary piano bar specializes in Broadway show tune sing-alongs sing-a-longs. Andrea Sachs, Washington Post, 28 May 2021 That section also includes the all-white piano that stood in the white room of Pulse’s original layout and posters for the eventual themed nights at the club, such as Latin night and college night. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, 27 May 2021 Jeri Lynne Johnson is the conductor and Michelle Cann the piano soloist. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, 26 May 2021 Amapiano, a South African house subgenre that often marries seizing basslines with delicate piano or synth lines, has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Andrew R. Chow, Time, 26 May 2021 The piano pop powerhouse has postponed his Detroit visit again, and will now play Comerica Park on July 9, 2022 — exactly one year to the day after he was scheduled to play the Tigers' home. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, 26 May 2021 The young pianists, piano teachers and adult amateurs will give recitals and attend master classes with TCU faculty and prominent musicians including Stanislav Ioudenitch, co-winner of the 2001 Cliburn Gold Medal. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 25 May 2021 Yet there is no question that large-scale works draw the most attention to a new composer, and Rosner, parsimonious in the extreme, focused these recordings largely on music for voice and piano, or for small chamber combinations. Walter Simmons, Harper's Magazine, 25 May 2021

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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Cite this Entry

“Piano.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/piano. Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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