\ ˈpīp How to pronounce pipe (audio) \

Definition of pipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a tubular wind instrument specifically : a small fipple flute held in and played by the left hand
b : one of the tubes of a pipe organ:
(1) : flue pipe
(2) : reed pipe
c : bagpipe usually used in plural
d(1) : voice, vocal cord usually used in plural
2a : a long tube or hollow body for conducting a liquid, gas, or finely divided solid or for structural purposes
b : a means of transmission (as of television signals or computer data) a broadband fiber-optic pipe
3a : a tubular or cylindrical object, part, or passage
b : a roughly cylindrical and vertical geological formation
c : the eruptive channel opening into the crater of a volcano
4a : a large cask of varying capacity used especially for wine and oil
b : any of various units of liquid capacity based on the size of a pipe especially : a unit equal to two hogsheads
5 : a device for smoking usually consisting of a tube having a bowl at one end and a mouthpiece at the other


piped; piping

Definition of pipe (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to play on a pipe
b : to convey orders by signals on a boatswain's pipe
2a : to speak in a high or shrill voice
b : to emit a shrill sound

transitive verb

1a : to play (a tune) on a pipe
b : to utter in the shrill tone of a pipe
2a : to lead or cause to go with pipe music
b(1) : to call or direct by the boatswain's pipe
(2) : to receive aboard or attend the departure of by sounding a boatswain's pipe
3 : to trim with piping
4 : to place (batter, frosting, etc.) on a surface by pressing or squeezing through a bag or tube fitted with a special nozzle Pipe frosting over each frozen ice cream mound to cover.— Emily Young also : to create (a decoration or pattern) by this method Pipe a rosette of whipped cream on top.— Elizabeth Craig
5 : to furnish or equip with pipes
6 : to convey by or as if by pipes especially : to transmit by wire or coaxial cable
7 : notice

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Other Words from pipe


pipeful \ ˈpīp-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce pipeful (audio) \ noun
pipeless \ ˈpīp-​ləs How to pronounce pipeless (audio) \ adjective
pipelike \ ˈpīp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce pipelike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pipe in a Sentence

Noun He has the pipes to sing on Broadway. a singer with a fine set of pipes Verb The pipers piped while the drummers drummed. The musician piped a tune.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That meant size and scale, to build pipes and aqueducts—out of reach to all but a few. Gregory Barber, Wired, "Bitcoin's Path From Insurgents’ Talisman to Tool of Big Tech," 22 Dec. 2019 On Tuesday morning, city crews began working to shut down the pipe and seal the leak, but the sewage was still flowing hours later. Susannah Bryan, sun-sentinel.com, "‘Disgusting brown river’ of sewage floods streets, driveways in Fort Lauderdale neighborhood," 10 Dec. 2019 Steel pipe and concrete casing protect the water supply from the materials coming up, something water testing ensures. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Colorado homes near oil wells face lower values, new study finds," 8 Dec. 2019 Rantanen’s backhander went off the pipe and out of play. BostonGlobe.com, "Bruins fall to Avalanche, 4-1," 7 Dec. 2019 Pay particular to spaces around plumbing pipes and electrical cables; cockroaches can squeeze through gaps as narrow as 1/8 inch. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get Rid of Cockroaches for Good," 13 Nov. 2019 After the concrete lid is in place, a network of pipes and compressors will pump air into the soil beneath the lid -- a technique called air sparging -- to accelerate the breaking down of contaminates by naturally occurring microbes. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando Superfund pollution in Parramore gets concrete grave," 7 Nov. 2019 Crews will be relocating water lines and installing pipes and manholes. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Stormwater project to begin in Stoneleigh-Anneslie in Towson," 5 Nov. 2019 The woman successfully escaped on her second attempt by jumping out of a window, climbing down a pipe and flagging down a man who called 911, according to the statement. Janelle Griffith, NBC News, "Man accused of brutal 6-hour assault allegedly kidnapped and raped another woman before," 17 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb ToTok’s corporate servers could pipe user data to the government, but that activity would lie beyond Apple or Google’s visibility. Lily Hay Newman, Wired, "An Alleged Spy App Puts Apple in a Bind," 8 Jan. 2020 Shepherds could not pipe a ditty on them, and poets could not use them as metaphors for the unsubstantiality of life. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Farewell to Starbucks’s green straws," 31 Dec. 2019 Shepherds could not pipe a ditty on them, and poets could not use them as metaphors for the unsubstantiality of life. The Economist, "The World in 2020 Farewell to Starbucks’ green straws," 30 Dec. 2019 Flip half of cookies upside down and pipe a layer of filling onto bottoms all the way to (or very close) to the edge. Nancy Stohs, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tiramisu Alfajores (Best of Show)," 3 Dec. 2019 And in places that don't pipe in music – like New York subway stations – the riders are providing their own by breaking out in song. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "New York subway riders belt out Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas is You'," 19 Dec. 2019 Las Vegas water officials have considered plans to pipe groundwater into Las Vegas since 1989, according to reports. USA TODAY, "Feral pig invasion, giant Christmas pyramid, rampaging fox attacks humans: News from around our 50 states," 20 Nov. 2019 Rowley’s opponents fear the island could be left hat-in-hand after green-lighting a billion-dollar infrastructure investment to pipe the gas, should the deal fall through. Safiya Charles, The New Republic, "Trump’s Venezuela Policy Is Causing Turmoil in the Caribbean," 9 Aug. 2019 The goal, a Del Mar spokesman said, is to pipe all of the water from various areas in the fairgrounds to the lake, and from there send it to a filtration plant before it’s released into the ocean nearby. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Espinoza notches first win at Del Mar since accident there last summer," 18 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pipe.' 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 pipe


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for pipe


Middle English, from Old English pīpa (akin to Old High German pfīfa pipe), from Vulgar Latin *pipa pipe, from Latin pipare to peep, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for pipe

Time Traveler

The first known use of pipe was before the 12th century

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Statistics for pipe

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pipe.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipe. Accessed 20 January 2020.

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More Definitions for pipe


How to pronounce pipe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long, hollow tube for carrying water, steam, gas, etc.
: a tube with a small bowl at one end that is used for smoking tobacco
: a musical instrument that is in the shape of a tube, has holes along the top, and is played by blowing



English Language Learners Definition of pipe (Entry 2 of 2)

: to carry or move (something, such as water or oil) in a pipe
: to send (music or recorded sound) from one place to another through an electrical connection
: to play a pipe or the bagpipes


\ ˈpīp How to pronounce pipe (audio) \

Kids Definition of pipe

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a long tube or hollow body for carrying a substance (as water, steam, or gas) the exhaust pipe of a car underground water pipes
2 : a musical instrument or part of a musical instrument consisting of a tube (as of wood or metal) played by blowing or having air passed through it
3 : bagpipe usually used in pl.
4 : a tube with a small bowl at one end for smoking tobacco or for blowing bubbles


piped; piping

Kids Definition of pipe (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move by means of pipes Water was piped into the city.
2 : to play on a pipe The musician piped a tune.
pipe down
: to stop talking or making noise
pipe up
: to start talking : say something

Other Words from pipe

piper noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on pipe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pipe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pipe

Spanish Central: Translation of pipe

Nglish: Translation of pipe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pipe for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pipe

Comments on pipe

What made you want to look up pipe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not to be intimidated or subdued

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