\ 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

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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 That pipe than splits into our lungs’ two main airways, called bronchi, which then branch off into smaller and smaller passageways, leading to tiny twig-like tubes called bronchioles that culminate in clusters of microscopic sacs called alveoli. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, "In Defense of Liberal Conspirators," 6 May 2021 Peoples Gas didn’t address the health impacts of its product but said its pipe replacement is reducing climate pollution by preventing leaks. Michael Hawthorne, chicagotribune.com, "Burning natural gas is now more dangerous than coal in Illinois, study shows," 5 May 2021 Poseidon would screen the power plant’s offshore intake pipe, which is big enough for a tractor-trailer to drive through, and use it to feed the desalter with 106 million gallons a day of seawater. Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, "Questions linger about environmental impact of Poseidon plant," 28 Apr. 2021 The proposal includes building or retrofitting more than 2 million homes or housing units, replacing every lead pipe in the country and ensuring that all Americans have access to affordable, reliable and high-speed broadband. John Harwood, Phil Mattingly And Kate Sullivan, CNN, "Biden seeks $80 billion to boost IRS enforcement," 27 Apr. 2021 For directions on building a large, greenhouse-type cloche with PVC pipe and plastic, check out the OSU Extension guide on How to Build Your Own Raised Bed Cloche. oregonlive, "Is it time to plant vegetable gardens in Oregon? What about tomatoes?," 27 Apr. 2021 Since then, union leaders said Marathon has increasingly relied on nonunion contractors — from repair projects carried out by pipe fitters to cleaning work by laborers. Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune, "Labor union study says St. Paul Park refinery becoming less safe," 26 Apr. 2021 The press conference showed various items purportedly found from the submarine, including torpedo tube straightener, pipe cooling wrap, lubricant for the submarine periscope, sponges and submarine solar. Karson Yiu, ABC News, "Missing Indonesian submarine sank, Navy officials say," 24 Apr. 2021 Indonesian naval experts have raised the possibility that as the Nanggala descended on Wednesday, water somehow flooded the submarine, possibly through a pipe or torpedo tube. New York Times, "Debris From Indonesian Submarine Is Found, Dimming Hopes of Rescue," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb These fans wasted no time booing Sami Zayn, and WWE even made sure to pipe in cheers over the boos for Logan Paul. Alfred Konuwa, Forbes, "WWE WrestleMania 37 Night 2 Results: Winners, News And Notes On April 11, 2021," 12 Apr. 2021 Spoon or pipe into egg whites and garnish with additional scallions. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Pimiento Cheese Deviled Eggs," 29 Mar. 2021 Per the paper, many producers even pipe in carbon dioxide, which plants use for photosynthesis, as a way of accelerating growth. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Growing an Ounce of Pot Indoors Can Emit As Much Carbon as Burning a Full Tank of Gas," 15 Mar. 2021 On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or Silpat), pipe the macarons in uniformly sized discs, approximately 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter. Dallas News, "Macaron master class: A step-by-step recipe from Bisous Bisous Patisserie in Dallas," 8 Mar. 2021 The shadow of a controversial plan to pipe groundwater from rural Nevada to Las Vegas loomed as state lawmakers weighed two proposals to protect groves of swamp cedar trees considered sacred on Monday. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Scrapped Vegas pipeline plan looms amid swamp cedar debate," 17 Mar. 2021 The plan to pipe in non-potable water from the Central Arizona Project for irrigation on the reservation is designed to relieve pressure on the drinking water supply. Sarah Oven, The Arizona Republic, "Pascua Yaqui win water funds, first of $150 million for Arizona projects," 1 Feb. 2021 Imports meet about 45% of China’s demand, which has been rising since President Xi Jinping set around 2015 decadeslong plans to pipe natural gas into millions of Chinese homes and factories. Chieko Tsuneoka, WSJ, "China’s Pursuit of Natural Gas Jolts Markets and Drains Neighbors," 5 Mar. 2021 Use automation to pipe that information to members of your sales team who will be calling on those customers and working to influence their designs. Steve Flagg, Forbes, "How To Address Changing Customer Expectations In The Electronics Supply Chain," 5 Mar. 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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Statistics for pipe

Last Updated

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipe. Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on pipe

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