\ 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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mimi had been found with a section of PVC pipe around her neck. Cathy Free, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 The object, believed by Glass to be either section of pipe or a large bolt, left multiple bones in her face fractured and her right eye swollen shut. Rivea Ruff, Essence, 11 July 2022 After safely securing the dog, Rasaphone helped lead the golden retriever out of the drain pipe and back into her owner's arms. Bellamy Richardson, PEOPLE.com, 5 July 2022 There’s an old piece of pipe from a local church organ; a chunk of the castle from The Enchanted Forest, a onetime storybook park for kids; and shards of china fished from the Patapsco River after one of the town’s floods. Mike Klingaman, Baltimore Sun, 29 June 2022 Hilco Redevelopment Partners has been hauling out 950 miles of pipe from the former Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, abandoning the property’s 150-year history of processing crude oil into fuel in this city. Evan Halper, Anchorage Daily News, 21 June 2022 Most modern courses built inland, on heavier soils, don’t percolate surface water as quickly and need the help of a network of drainage pipe, catch basins and dry sumps to vacate their surface water. Bradley S. Klein, WSJ, 17 June 2022 By the time sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, someone had placed a tire barrier in front of the pipe, the magazine reported. Henri Hollis, ajc, 11 May 2022 For the next five hours, the crew worked on removing and replacing a busted section of pipe. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, 29 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That project, perhaps a decade in the future, would pipe treated water to Mexican farmers south of Yuma. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 27 June 2022 Owned by a group including a unit of Carlyle, the U.S. investment management firm, the project will pipe fuel ashore near Constanta, Romania’s major port and offshore drilling center. New York Times, 15 June 2022 Last Wednesday, Israel agreed to pipe billions of dollars’ worth of natural gas to Europe via Egyptian liquefaction facilities, as Russia halts supplies and the continent scrambles to refill dwindling stockpiles. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 20 June 2022 The idea, pushed by Burgum, was to help cut down on the wasteful flaring at well sites and pipe it to communities in the gas-poor eastern part of the state, hoping to spur industrial development. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 24 May 2022 These glasses probably just pipe that technology to the lenses, but why bother with the glasses at all? Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, 23 May 2022 That’s the thinking behind an idea under serious study by the Utah Legislature to pipe Pacific seawater over 700 miles in a bid to reverse the Great Salt Lake’s decline. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 May 2022 The Eurovision authorities offered to pipe her performance in remotely, but Russia declined and went on to officially withdraw from that year’s edition. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, 12 May 2022 The project is intended to enable Russia to circumvent Ukraine and other countries and pipe its gas directly into Europe at lower cost, cementing its role as a major energy supplier. James Hookway, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pipe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipe. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pipe


\ 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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