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[hawrn-pahyp] /ˈhɔrnˌpaɪp/
an English folk clarinet having one ox horn concealing the reed and another forming the bell.
a lively jiglike dance, originally to music played on a hornpipe, performed usually by one person, and traditionally a favorite of sailors.
a piece of music for or in the style of such a dance.
Origin of hornpipe
1350-1400; Middle English. See horn, pipe1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hornpipe
Historical Examples
  • It's like saying your prayers to a hornpipe, thinking of her and carrying on with them wastrels.

  • In Britain, you have the hornpipe, a dance which is held an original of this country.

    A Treatise on the Art of Dancing Giovanni-Andrea Gallini
  • And if it will make your dinner agree with you, I will dance you a hornpipe into the bargain.

  • Tom was talked about: biceps like thighs, now: a hornpipe danced on the hands.

    The Bill-Toppers Andre Castaigne
  • He intimated also to Jack that he must get up and go through his hornpipe again.

    Salt Water W. H. G. Kingston
  • That comes off, and he is an American sailor, with his hands on his hips dancing a hornpipe.

    A Boy's Town W. D. Howells
  • Give them the hornpipe, Jack, when the sliding and sprawling is finished.

    The Lady of Lynn

    Walter Besant
  • He had to do a little jubilating himself, so he got up and began a hornpipe.

    Motor Matt's Hard Luck Stanley R. Matthews
  • Theyll be sayin the Old Hundredth is a Dutch hornpipe next, he growled.

    The Message Louis Tracy
  • I could dance a hornpipe with anybody, and forward I came to listen.

    The Maid of Sker Richard Doddridge Blackmore
British Dictionary definitions for hornpipe


an obsolete reed instrument with a mouthpiece made of horn
an old British solo dance to a hornpipe accompaniment, traditionally performed by sailors
a piece of music for such a dance
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hornpipe

c.1400, hornepype, "musical instrument with bell and mouthpiece made of horn," from horn (n.) + pipe (n.1). Later (late 15c.) "dance associated with sailors" (originally performed to music from such an instrument).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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