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

What authorities have managed to erect is a daunting bureaucratic pyramid of paperwork for victims to get their buildings evaluated, repaired, demolished or replaced. Fox News, "Damaged buildings, graft haunt Mexico City year after quake," 18 Sep. 2018 During a recent session of the specialized cam , the school gymnasium was divided into two sides, one for silk climbing and the other for building a human pyramid. Staff Report, chicagotribune.com, "Circus camp teaches kids more than about clowning around: 'They're building their confidence'," 18 June 2018 My purpose is to set myself, my family and many others, free from the patriarchal white supremacist social paradigm that has rendered us inferior, placed Black women at the bottom of the pyramid, and kept us stuck in cycles of disunity. Ebonee Davis, Harper's BAZAAR, "Model Ebonee Davis on How Suffering Leads to Power," 3 Nov. 2017 His vast work-in-progress is inspired by archaeological sites like the Mayan pyramids in Mexico and Central America. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "James Turrell’s New Masterpiece in the Desert," 14 Jan. 2019 Scientists needed to add layer after layer upon 2D nanostructures—or be satisfied with simple self-sustaining shapes like pyramids. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Honey, I Shrunk Everything: MIT Scientists Can Shrink Objects to the Nanoscale," 18 Dec. 2018 In biology, biomass pyramids chart the relative number or weight of one class of organism compared to another organism within the same ecosystem. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Kevin Hart tweeted himself out of a job hosting the Oscars," 8 Dec. 2018 The latest find, announced at a press conference Saturday, belongs to the Saite-Persian Period, from 664-404 B.C. The site, which lies south of Unas pyramid, was last excavated more than 100 years ago, in 1900. Fox News, "Archaeologists in Egypt discover ancient mummification workshop," 2 Oct. 2018 Fold your triangle in the middle, then turn it so that the point is facing down, like an inverted pyramid. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "The Idiot Proof Guide To DIY'ing Paper Snowflakes," 6 Sep. 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

16 Mar 2019

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 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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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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