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

The structure of Consumers’ Buyline brings to mind Nxivm’s setup, with members recruiting other members and the way that Raniere was often introduced late in a participant’s membership, standing out of reach at the top of the pyramid. Vanessa Grigoriadis, New York Times, "The ‘Sex Cult’ That Preached Empowerment," 30 May 2018 In construction fill in two large pyramids near Ceibal’s ceremonial center, archaeologists found the remains of two dogs with strontium isotope ratios that didn’t match the local geology. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Ancient Maya traded dogs for use in religious ceremonies, new study shows," 19 Mar. 2018 The provenance or ownership history of the works, which depict a monumental stepped pyramid and a pile of ceramic jugs, includes the collection of Anita Brenner, the scholar of Mexican culture and history. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Museum of Art acquires Italian portrait, African sculptures, Weston photos (photos)," 14 Mar. 2018 This exhibition presents recent findings from excavations at the site’s three main pyramids. Carolina A. Miranda, latimes.com, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 Marci and Paul traveled worldwide from the Austrian Alps to the pyramids of Egypt. courant.com, "Marcella Masley," 10 July 2018 The season has been mostly about three drivers — Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Busch — wrestling for the top of the pyramid. Mike Hembree, USA TODAY, "Hembree: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson stage dramatic duel in Cup season's best finish," 1 July 2018 Over the years, experts have proposed a number of theories to explain how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Is the Fall Equinox the Secret to the Pyramids’ Near-Perfect Alignment?," 22 Feb. 2018 Wochit The Mayan civilization built huge pyramids, temples and giant stone monuments adorned with ornate carvings while ruling a wide swath of Central America. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Maya exhibit featuring 300 artifacts opens at Milwaukee Public Museum," 16 Feb. 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

14 Sep 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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Comments on pyramid

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