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

Examples of pyramid in a Sentence

Noun the ancient pyramids of Egypt
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For weeks, every evening after sunset, their flapping wings filled the Sky Beam shining up from the pyramid of the Luxor casino, and their dead exoskeletons littered the sidewalks. Joshua Sokol New York Times, Star Tribune, "That night 46 million grasshoppers went to Las Vegas," 8 Apr. 2021 Humans are parts of ecosystems—technological, climatic, social, and political—and the Enlightenment-style model of the human author at the top of the pyramid of creation is less accurate than ever before. Elvia Wilk, The Atlantic, "How Will Machines Choose to Tell Stories?," 28 Mar. 2021 Their calls to arms over the sanctity of soccer’s pyramid might ring deafeningly hollow. New York Times, "Outrage About European Super League Is Muffled by Our Cheers," 18 Apr. 2021 Following four years at Chelsea, Flaherty joined a third London Women's Super League club, West Ham United, who back in 2011 were playing in the regional fourth tier of the women's soccer pyramid. Asif Burhan, Forbes, "First Women’s Super League Goalscorer Never Believed Players Would Become Professional," 12 Apr. 2021 Where the original pyramid reached some 204 feet tall, the Great Pyramid of Khufu rose to over 481 feet and required millions of blocks of stone—about two and a half tons each. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, "The World’s 20 Most Impressive Ancient Builds," 8 Apr. 2021 Vegas landmarks such as the shaft of light emanating from the Luxor pyramid’s pinnacle were especially loaded with the insects, causing many to speculate back in 2019 that the bright lights of the desert city had in fact drawn the insects. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Las Vegas Was Inundated by 46 Million Grasshoppers on a Single Night in 2019," 2 Apr. 2021 The John Harkes-managed Greenville Triumph SC, which won the third-division USL League One title in 2020, will be the only club representing that level of the USSF soccer pyramid. Pat Brennan, The Enquirer, "Here's what FC Cincinnati needs to do to qualify for this year's U.S. Open Cup," 29 Mar. 2021 The next season, two of the Wallendas were killed in an accident while performing the pyramid. NBC News, "Carla Wallenda, member of 'The Flying Wallendas' high-wire act, dies at 85," 9 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020 The scams have ranged from the work-from-home reselling of luxury products, to pyramid schemes soliciting cash and that play on cultural norms in immigrant communities, to fraudulent investment rackets promising quick profits. orlandosentinel.com, "U.S., states including Florida crackdown on scams bilking desperate Americans," 15 Dec. 2020

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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pyramid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pyramid. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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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