pyramid

noun
pyr·​a·​mid | \ ˈpir-ə-ˌmid How to pronounce pyramid (audio) \

Definition of pyramid

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : an ancient massive structure found especially in Egypt having typically a square ground plan, outside walls in the form of four triangles that meet in a point at the top, and inner sepulchral chambers
b : a structure or object of similar form
2 : a polyhedron having for its base a polygon and for faces triangles with a common vertex — see Volume Formulas Table
3 : a crystalline form each face of which intersects the vertical axis and either two lateral axes or in the tetragonal system one lateral axis
4 : an anatomical structure resembling a pyramid: such as
a : any of the conical masses that project from the renal medulla into the renal pelvis
b : either of two large bundles of motor fibers from the cerebral cortex that reach the medulla oblongata and are continuous with the pyramidal tracts of the spinal cord
5 : an immaterial structure built on a broad supporting base and narrowing gradually to an apex the socioeconomic pyramid

pyramid

verb
pyramided; pyramiding; pyramids

Definition of pyramid (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to speculate (as on a security or commodity exchange) by using paper profits as margin for additional transactions
2 : to increase rapidly and progressively step by step on a broad base

transitive verb

1 : to arrange or build up as if on the base of a pyramid
2 : to use (something, such as profits) in speculative pyramiding
3 : to increase the impact of (something, such as a tax assessed at the production level) on the ultimate consumer by treating as a cost subject to markup

Illustration of pyramid

Illustration of pyramid

Noun

pyramid 2

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from pyramid

Noun

pyramidal \ pə-​ˈra-​mə-​dᵊl How to pronounce pyramid (audio) , ˌpir-​ə-​ˈmi-​ How to pronounce pyramid (audio) \ adjective
pyramidally adverb
pyramidical \ ˌpir-​ə-​ˈmi-​di-​kəl How to pronounce pyramid (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pyramid in a Sentence

Noun the ancient pyramids of Egypt
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Life is most fragile for those at the bottom of the pyramid. Wsj Staff, WSJ, "Covid-19 Deals Different Hands for Family Finances," 29 Dec. 2020 The change has been accompanied by a loss of hope for millions of Americans and a profound level of social disintegration for people at the bottom of the pyramid. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Scott Burns: It’s time to find our hearts," 18 Dec. 2020 If your item is more spherical, like a ball, the video demonstrates a pyramid-like envelope that’ll work for that, too. Whitson Gordon, Popular Science, "Tips for wrapping gifts of any shape," 21 Dec. 2020 The triangular shape of PAU’s design grew from a desire to mediate between Pei’s pyramid, the Lake Erie waterfront, and Cleveland’s downtown, set upon a flat bluff overlooking the Rock Hall, Chakrabarti said. Steven Litt, cleveland, "Rock Hall picks firm to design expansion of its iconic lakefront building with ‘reverence and irreverence’," 18 Dec. 2020 Other works play with their subjects’ placement: Broccoli Leamington (1895–1910), for instance, finds large broccoli heads sitting atop one another in a pyramid-like formation. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Has Photography’s Relationship With Nature Evolved Over the Past 200 Years?," 1 Dec. 2020 The team is one of a number of Welsh clubs to participate within the English football pyramid and its Twitter following of 61,300 is somewhat dwarfed by Reynolds' 16.5 million followers. Ben Church, CNN, "Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are set to complete takeover of Welsh soccer team," 16 Nov. 2020 Most brands at the pinnacle of the luxury pyramid have made a mission of chasing younger and more-diverse consumers by dabbling in streetwear or athleisure or by partnering with the most au courant hipster that social media can uncover. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "The creative mind behind Valentino believes we all need beauty now — even if we can’t afford it.," 16 Nov. 2020 Though some of the USL’s shrinkage is attributable to MLS awarding St. Louis a franchise in the top tier of the U.S. Soccer pyramid, and some is surely due to financial pressures exacerbated by COVID-19, soccer’s boom-and-bust cycle is nothing new. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "The pandemic isn't the only reason for the constant churn facing the USL," 15 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. Marcy Gordon, ajc, "US, states crack down on scams bilking desperate Americans," 14 Dec. 2020 During the Marlins' game against the Washington Nationals, fans built a giant beer can pyramid and urged Dean to take a shot. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Austin Dean of the Miami Marlins stuns the crowd with a perfect throw at a fan's beer pyramid," 21 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pyramid.' 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 pyramid

Noun

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

circa 1900, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for pyramid

Noun

Latin pyramid-, pyramis, from Greek

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Time Traveler for pyramid

Time Traveler

The first known use of pyramid was in 1549

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Statistics for pyramid

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pyramid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pyramid. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for pyramid

pyramid

noun
How to pronounce pyramid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pyramid

: a very large structure built especially in ancient Egypt that has a square base and four triangular sides which form a point at the top
: a shape, object, or pile that is wide near the bottom and narrows gradually as it reaches the top
: something that resembles a pyramid in the way its parts are arranged or organized

pyramid

noun
pyr·​a·​mid | \ ˈpir-ə-ˌmid How to pronounce pyramid (audio) \

Kids Definition of pyramid

1 : a large structure built especially in ancient Egypt that usually has a square base and four triangular sides meeting at a point and that contains tombs
2 : a shape or structure with a polygon for its base and three or more triangles for its sides which meet to form the top

pyramid

noun
pyr·​a·​mid | \ ˈpir-ə-ˌmid How to pronounce pyramid (audio) \

Medical Definition of pyramid

1 : a polyhedron having for its base a polygon and for faces triangles with a common vertex
2 : an anatomical structure resembling a pyramid: as
b : either of two large bundles of motor fibers from the cerebral cortex that reach the medulla oblongata and are continuous with the corticospinal tracts of the spinal cord
c : a conical projection making up the central part of the inferior vermis of the cerebellum

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pyramid

noun
pyr·​a·​mid | \ ˈpir-ə-ˌmid How to pronounce pyramid (audio) \

Legal Definition of pyramid

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a group of holding companies superimposed on one another to give those in control of the top holding company control over all of the companies with a small investment
2 : the series of operations involved in pyramiding on an exchange
3 : a pyramid scheme

Legal Definition of pyramid (Entry 2 of 3)

: to speculate (as on a security or commodity exchange) by using paper profits as a margin for additional transactions

transitive verb

1 : to use (as profits) in speculative pyramiding
2 : to increase the impact of (as a tax assessed at the production level) on the ultimate consumer by treating as a cost subject to markup

pyramid

adjective

Legal Definition of pyramid (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or being an illegal scheme in which participants give money or other valuables in exchange for the opportunity to receive payment for recruiting others to participate in the scheme

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Comments on pyramid

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