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

The piece was pretty, the music was filled by a solo piano. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The New York City Ballet Starts Its Spring Season With Two World Premieres," 4 May 2019 For many fans, the easy-flowing guitar and piano is one of the signals of spring . David Brandt, The Seattle Times, "Sounds of Spring: Loggins’ song ‘Augusta’ endures at Masters," 14 Apr. 2019 With the HoloLens 2, all ten fingers are tracked, letting a presenter play a virtual piano. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft launches HoloLens 2 with a strong business bent," 24 Feb. 2019 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s ending has Rebecca sharing her progress in songwriting with all the people in her life at an open mic night after a year of piano and singing lessons. Sydney Bucksbaum, Teen Vogue, ""Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" Finale Gives Rebecca a Different Kind of Happy Ending," 6 Apr. 2019 According to The Sun, a royal source claims that Meghan Markle has asked legendary musician Elton John to give her new baby piano lessons (obviously not right away of course—when the baby is older). Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Reportedly Wants This Legendary Singer to Give Her Baby Piano Lessons," 28 Mar. 2019 The independent piano teacher has lived to welcome seven grandchildren and to write each of them a song that fits their personality. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Oaks 2018 is not just a horse race for these cancer survivors," 2 May 2018 In between courses, Clemens himself, accompanied by ambient jazz piano and tiny sounds of knives clinking on glasses, got on the microphone to express his gratitude to all who were present and lead a group-wide toast. Charlotte Diamond, Vogue, "Telfar Hosts a Southern, Family-Style Dinner at The Standard," 14 Feb. 2019 Taylor started singing the tune, which happens to be her very first hit single from her debut album, at the piano. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Tim McGraw and Faith Hill Showed Up At Taylor Swift's Concert and Everyone Freaked Out," 27 Aug. 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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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).


a strong desire or propensity

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