\ˈpīp \

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

(2) : piping sense 1

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pipe


pipeful \ˈpīp-​ˌfu̇l \ noun
pipeless \ˈpīp-​ləs \ adjective
pipelike \ˈpīp-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of pipe in a Sentence


He has the pipes to sing on Broadway. a singer with a fine set of pipes


The pipers piped while the drummers drummed. The musician piped a tune.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wray said, describing the bombs as consisting of PVC pipe, a small clock, a battery, wiring and potential explosive material. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Pipe bomb suspect charged: what we know," 26 Oct. 2018 Yes, like Justin Bieber before her, Cara was discovered on YouTube after posting several clips that showed off her impressive pipes. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Watch Alessia Cara Review Her First YouTube Covers," 2 Oct. 2018 His organization, the India Rationalist Association, uses science to explain what many believe to be miracles, such as a statue of Jesus, that, because of a leaking pipe, appeared to be weeping. Seema Yasmin, SELF, "In Rural India, Protecting Women From Witch Hunting, and an Impending Flood," 17 Aug. 2018 The gender fluid actor and model has already shown her pipes in Pitch Perfect 3, but these are the songs that truly tell her story. Tommy Tsao, Teen Vogue, "Ruby Rose Shares the Playlist to Her Life," 8 Aug. 2018 Neither one a newcomer to singing, Porter won a Tony Award in 2013 for his role as Lola in Kinky Boots and Rodriquez performed as Angel in an off-Broadway production of Rent and showed off her pipes in the 2017 film Saturday Church. Henry Youtt, Billboard, "'Pose' Stars Mj Rodriguez and Billy Porter Stun With Cover of 'The Wiz' Ballad 'Home': Listen," 9 July 2018 Lutz said Monroe Street was in excavation mode for about a year, while residents fixed their pipes and the city came to backfill and repave the street. Claudia Vargas, Philly.com, "'Nightmare on Monroe Street': A tiny Queen Village block's six-year feud with the Philly Water Department," 6 July 2018 His face is as lined as the bowl of his pipe is smooth. The Economist, "David Goldblatt died on June 25th," 28 June 2018 Board of Port Wardens Ordinance 1000 creates a Board of Port Wardens to allow the city to monitor its water treatment plant intake pipe in the Susquehanna River. Erika Butler, The Aegis, "Trash containers in Havre de Grace can accommodate up to 50 pounds," 19 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Though other headphones, like the Sony 1000X Mark III, can pipe in external audio for situational awareness, the Dimensions do seem to actively mix the external audio with your content in a more effective and pleasing manner. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Dolby Dimension review: headphones for your home," 14 Nov. 2018 The recipe comes from pastry chef Alex Levin, who loves to pipe the cream in layers that alternate with rice pudding, crunchy bits and various fruits. Bonnie S. Benwick, The Seattle Times, "For a different Thanksgiving dessert, swap pie for parfaits," 13 Nov. 2018 Both feature built-in audio solutions that pipe out of the straps. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "HTC Vive Focus hands-on impressions: No-PC, no-wires VR at a too-steep price," 9 Nov. 2018 Nord Stream 2 would enable Moscow to pipe 110 billion cubic meters of gas annually to Germany, equal to roughly a quarter of annual EU demand and about 60% of all Russian exports to Europe. Emre Peker, WSJ, "Trump Slams Germany Over Gas Imports From Russia," 11 July 2018 The Royal Regiment of Scotland — homeland of the president's mother — will pipe him out at the end of the dinner. Fox News, "Trump's UK trip includes palace pomp, aims to avoid protests," 6 July 2018 Use a pastry bag to pipe the filling into the eggs. Alysha Witwicki, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What to bring? These side dishes are always welcome at a summer picnic," 29 June 2018 Known for his ability to pipe the ball long distances, Kokrak's 285.5-yard driving average was well below the average for the rest of the field through two rounds. Patrick Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Ex-Moeller golfer Andrew Dorn makes the cut at Memorial Tournament, chasing Jason Day and other world elites," 3 June 2018 Spread or pipe chilled pastry cream into tartlet shells. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Very Berry Cream Tartlets," 12 Apr. 2017

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pipe

Statistics for pipe

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pipe

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on pipe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pipe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


amusing and light sparring with words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!