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

Examples of pyramid in a Sentence

Noun the ancient pyramids of Egypt
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rainford-Brent went on to point out that there are no Black members on the England and Wales Cricket Board, the UK's governing body, and no Black captains among the 18 counties that make up the top two tiers of English cricket's pyramid. Aimee Lewis, CNN, "Handcuffs to light bulbs shine light on painful Black experience," 11 July 2020 Harbaugh, the most recognizable figure in Michigan’s sports program, is at the top of that pyramid. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh's Michigan football pay cut restores balance after 10% raise," 30 June 2020 Enriquez likened them to the peak and base of a pyramid. Lauren Caruba, ExpressNews.com, "Here’s what San Antonio doctors have learned about treating COVID-19," 19 June 2020 In other words, the Maya at Aguada Fenix were able to organize big monument construction projects long before the pyramid-building of the Classic Period. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists discover the largest—and oldest—Maya monument ever," 3 June 2020 Among the usual park amenities is a central kiosk emulating a Mayan pyramid. Eduardo Díaz, Smithsonian Magazine, "Fifty Years Ago, Fed Up With the City’s Neglect, a San Diego Community Rose Up to Create Chicano Park," 28 Apr. 2020 The cross-section is a neat pyramid of mortadella, salami, capicola and a thick wedge of provolone cheese. Jenn Harrisstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Where to find the best Italian sub sandwiches in Los Angeles," 14 Mar. 2020 At about 524 feet in diameter, Didymoon, which orbits the asteroid Didymos, is about as large as one of the great pyramids in Egypt. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "Every Moon in Our Solar System, Ranked," 7 Apr. 2020 For her London counterpart, Banks, the year’s highlights included March’s Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in front of the pyramids in Giza, Egypt; two shows by Florence + The Machine in Athens, Greece; and Katy Perry in Mumbai, India. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Revealed: Billboard's 2019 Women In Music Top Executives," 12 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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

25 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pyramid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pyramid. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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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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