\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

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Other Words from pipe


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

Synonyms for pipe

Synonyms: Noun

channel, conduit, duct, leader, line, penstock, trough, tube

Synonyms: Verb

cheep, chirp, chirrup, chitter, peep, pip, tweet, twitter

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Gently open each strawberry and pipe the cream filling inside. Jennifer Mcclellan, ajc, "6 colorful Fourth of July recipes to make your party sparkle," 4 July 2018 There’s no word on who’s going to foot the bill for the impromptu modification to the truck’s exhaust pipe. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "She went for the music, but got her head stuck in a truck's tailpipe, Minn. cops say," 13 June 2018 Someone entered a car parked in the 1100 block of Westgate Street and stole a book bag containing a phone charger, a Sony voice recorder and a tobacco pipe valued at $220 between 8:45 p.m. and 9:56 p.m. July 6. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Police: Oak Park resident robbed while walking on Austin Boulevard," 14 July 2018 His motorcycle drove up the shoulder before hitting a drainage pipe, troopers said. Michael Williams, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Motorcyclist killed in high-speed Osceola crash, troopers say," 13 July 2018 Isaac Babcock The gauge is inside a weathered PVC pipe screwed into the wood piling of a tiny tin dock at the end of a trail in the Withlachoochee Gulf Preserve. Amy Green, miamiherald, "With Gov. Scott and legislature in denial, tiny town adapts on its own to climate change," 11 July 2018 The White County sheriff's office says Tipton, Shock and 28-year-old Justin Bray used a pipe to break through an outside wall of the jail in Carmi near the Indiana border. Fox News, "Authorities catch last 2 of 3 men who escaped Illinois jail," 10 July 2018 Police say the suspect hit the man in the face with a pipe. CBS News, "Suspect arrested for fracturing man's skull with a pipe in attack on NYC subway," 9 July 2018 Officials in Shenandoah have temporarily shut down the Mary Pat Case Municipal Pool after a broken pipe was discovered Thursday morning. Staff Reports, Houston Chronicle, "Shenandoah pool closed until July 10," 7 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 The Milwaukee and Waukesha city councils last year approved a 40-year agreement that will pipe Lake Michigan water across the subcontinental divide to Waukesha. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha alerts hundreds of property owners in three communities to field work along route of lake diversion pipeline," 23 Apr. 2018 For making marshmallow chicks or to pipe out other shapes with a pastry bag, use the batter only, skipping the Classic Coating steps. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, "Get your craft on: Make marshmallow chicks (Peeps) for your Easter treats," 26 Mar. 2018 To pipe outlines before coating (keeps thinned icing from running off cookies): Snip tips off corners of bags with tinted icing and pipe outline for each color on dinosaurs. Woman's Day, "Volcano Cake," 1 Feb. 2012

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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Statistics for pipe

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pipe

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

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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 \

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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Comments on pipe

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