\ 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 geologic 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

Other Words from pipe


pipeful \ ˈpīp-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce pipe (audio) \ noun
pipeless \ ˈpīp-​ləs How to pronounce pipe (audio) \ adjective
pipelike \ ˈpīp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce pipe (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 But the two explosive devices placed outside the Republican and Democratic headquarters in Washington, D.C., the night before the Jan. 6 riot — crimes as yet unsolved — were homemade pipe bombs, officials say. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, 11 Jan. 2022 And a key question remains: Was there a connection between the pipe bombs and the riot at the Capitol? Fox News, 6 Jan. 2022 On that day, an unidentified person planted pipe bombs outside the national Democratic and Republican party headquarters. Washington Post, 5 Jan. 2022 Wearing a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up, a pair of Air Max Speed Turf shoes with a yellow Nike logo, a backpack and gloves, the suspect walked through alleyways and equipped with what investigators say were two pipe bombs. Luke Barr, ABC News, 5 Jan. 2022 Outside, officers had been stabbed and had had their eyes gouged, and pipe bombs were discovered at the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican National Committees. Nathan Heller, Vogue, 4 Jan. 2022 His truck was found close to where two pipe bombs were discovered at the Republican National Committee headquarters and Democratic National Committee headquarters. Clare Hymes, CBS News, 12 Nov. 2021 That was the day Mormon document dealer Mark Hofmann killed two people with pipe bombs in an effort to avoid being unveiled as a double-dealing forger, and Flynn, as his employee, was initially implicated. The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Nov. 2021 Police found a Molotov cocktail in Kucharski's home, as well as materials for others and drawings of pipe bombs and lists of guns and ammunition in Kucharski's notebooks, according to the complaint. Sahar Akbarzai, CNN, 27 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The project could include a sand-bypass system to pipe sand over or around the Camp Pendleton and Oceanside harbors. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Jan. 2022 Using both colors, make a star pattern, and swirl the glasses to create a swirl effect, or get creative and pipe out a holiday design. Gina Pace, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Federal authorities have moved to reverse a Trump administration decision that cleared the way for Cadiz Inc. to pipe water across public land in the California desert. Alex Wigglesworth, Los Angeles Times, 4 Dec. 2021 Then pipe small dots inside the shape to resemble snow. Washington Post, 30 Nov. 2021 An innovative effort to pipe big-city mental health providers to primary care clinics in rural communities to treat PTSD and bipolar disorder showed overwhelmingly positive results, underscoring the potential of technology to address gaps in care. Mario Aguilar, STAT, 20 Nov. 2021 Let ganache cool at room temperature until ready to pipe. Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Spread or pipe the mixture on top of the baked souffle and place under the oven broiler until the meringue is brown and toasty. John-john Williams Iv, baltimoresun.com, 18 Nov. 2021 By the time the choir and falsettoed harmonies pipe in, don't expect things to settle. Marcus Jones, EW.com, 17 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near pipe

pip card


pipe amygdule

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Statistics for pipe

Last Updated

21 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipe. Accessed 28 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for pipe



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

More from Merriam-Webster on pipe

Nglish: Translation of pipe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pipe for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pipe


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