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 Located around 18 miles south of Cairo, Saqqara was an active burial ground for more than 3,000 years and boasts at least 11 pyramids – including the Step Pyramid. Fox News, "Cache of mummified cats, lions recently discovered on display at Egyptian pyramid site," 24 Nov. 2019 Lamprecht drew me a pyramid diagram of the levels of tasks as AP sees them. David Quammen, National Geographic, "To save wildlife, African governments turn to private management," 12 Nov. 2019 All seven county schools were represented in the event, and teams are judged on various qualities including stunt work, pyramid formation, tosses, and technique. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Cheerleading: For Carroll County champion Liberty, ‘It felt better this year’ after fall title," 26 Oct. 2019 The striking Mexican modernist residence of roughly 26,000 square feet includes a circular atrium, a dining room topped with a pyramid-like ceiling and a 30-foot-high family room with hydraulic doors. Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times, "Hot Property Newsletter: No time like the present for luxury real estate deals," 12 Oct. 2019 And at this site, great wine stands alongside great architecture: Rocca di Frassinello’s main building and its enormous inverted-pyramid wine cellar are designed by the world renowned Renzo Piano. Nick Remsen, Vogue, "5 Vineyard Experiences That Go Beyond Your Typical Tasting," 5 Oct. 2019 Pile into bowl, in a pyramid shape, creating volume. CBS News, "The Dish: Greek cuisine from chef Costas Spiliadis," 21 Sep. 2019 As a black referee in England's football pyramid, Mannix says such incidents of discrimination towards minority officials are commonplace. Matias Grez, Zayn Nabbi And Darren Lewis, CNN, "How the scourge of racism continues to tarnish English football," 10 Sep. 2019 NBFCs in India have been playing a key role in providing bottom of the pyramid financing. Shachindra Nath, Quartz India, "India’s NBFCs, wrongly called shadow banks, need the government’s backing," 3 July 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

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pyramid.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pyramidal. Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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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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

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