pyramid

noun
pyr·​a·​mid | \ˈpir-ə-ˌmid \

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, ˌpir-​ə-​ˈmi-​ \ adjective
pyramidally adverb
pyramidical \ˌpir-​ə-​ˈmi-​di-​kəl \ adjective

Examples of pyramid in a Sentence

Noun

the ancient pyramids of Egypt

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In February, archaeologists announced the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids. James Rogers, Fox News, "'Cursed' ancient Egyptian sarcophagus reveals its grisly secrets," 21 Aug. 2018 After Egyptian President Anwar Sadat halted South Pacific Properties’ attempt to build a resort near the pyramids outside Cairo, Mr. Munk sold the company in 1981. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, "Peter Munk, Freewheeling Founder of Barrick Gold, Dies in Toronto at 90," 28 Mar. 2018 In Egypt, Trump visited the pyramids and the 4,500-year-old Sphinx. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Melania’s trip to Africa says a lot about US foreign policy under Trump," 9 Oct. 2018 Go down the pyramid and the gender proportions shift, thanks in part to the internal efforts of SOM’s Women’s Initiative. Justin Davidson, The Cut, "What Would a World Designed by Women Look Like?," 20 Mar. 2018 Political and religious unrest and travel advisories have dissuaded me from seeing the pyramids in Egypt or discovering the ski slopes of Iran. Jen Murphy, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hiking the Jordan Trail to Petra," 25 Apr. 2018 The fluorescent clip sees Belly and The Weeknd serenading the club-ready love tune in various locations, including atop a pyramid and cruising around in a convertible. Abby Jones, Billboard, "Belly & The Weeknd Debut Hypnotizing 'What You Want' Video: Watch," 31 May 2018 Musk also enthused about selling the bricks in life-sized Lego kits, starting with a pyramid and the temple of Horus. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "The biggest news from Elon Musk’s Boring Company meeting in LA," 18 May 2018 Past creations include dolphins, funland rides, Olympic athletes, pyramids and sea creatures. baltimoresun.com, "Delaware beaches’ 2018 calendar of events," 11 May 2018

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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Statistics for pyramid

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pyramid

The first known use of pyramid was in 1549

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More Definitions for pyramid

pyramid

noun

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 \

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 \

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

a : renal pyramid

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 \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on pyramid

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pyramid

Spanish Central: Translation of pyramid

Nglish: Translation of pyramid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pyramid for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pyramid

Comments on pyramid

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