uilleann pipes

plural noun

uil·​leann pipes ˈi-lən- How to pronounce uilleann pipes (audio)
often capitalized
: an Irish bagpipe with air supplied by a bellows held under and worked by the elbow

Examples of uilleann pipes in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Born in Glasgow but rooted in Ireland’s Donegal, this trio of sisters — Anna, Sheila, and Claire, variously playing flute, tin whistle, uilleann pipes, and fiddle, all singing and harmonizing together as only siblings can — have begun making a mark in the world of Irish traditional music. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 30 Aug. 2023 Kieran O’Hare, who teaches the Irish uilleann pipes after decades playing, agreed. Daniel Kool, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 2023 By then, though, Mr. Sky, who was of both Irish and Creek Indian heritage, had turned his attention to the uilleann pipes, perhaps the most difficult instrument to play in the arsenal of Irish music, after meeting the master piper Liam O’Flynn at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in the early 1970s. New York Times, 4 June 2021 There are also seven musicians onstage, playing everything from electric guitar and bass to accordion, fiddle, mandolin, tin whistles and uilleann pipes. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 18 Dec. 2022 This allows Flaherty and Ahrens to customize song forms to suit each moment and explore genres that fit the milieu — cue the fiddle and uilleann pipes. Jesse Green, New York Times, 30 Oct. 2022 Ian Eisendrath’s dynamic onstage rock ensemble emphatically has the chops (not to mention the fiddles, bodhrans, Irish bouzoukis and uilleann pipes). San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 May 2022 Moloney founded the Chieftains in 1962 alongside Sean Potts and Michael Tubridy, playing the uilleann pipes and bodhrán. Andrea Towers, EW.com, 13 Oct. 2021 The uilleann pipes were, and to a large extent, are considered a solo instrument. Melinda Newman, Billboard, 12 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'uilleann pipes.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


uilleann from Irish, genitive singular of uillinn elbow, from Old Irish uilen; akin to Old English eln ell — more at ell

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of uilleann pipes was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near uilleann pipes

Cite this Entry

“Uilleann pipes.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uilleann%20pipes. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!