• synonyms


  1. Often bagpipes. a reed instrument consisting of a melody pipe and one or more accompanying drone pipes protruding from a windbag into which the air is blown by the mouth or a bellows.
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verb (used with object), bag·piped, bag·pip·ing.
  1. Nautical. to back (a fore-and-aft sail) by hauling the sheet to windward.
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Origin of bagpipe

First recorded in 1300–50, bagpipe is from the Middle English word baggepipe. See bag, pipe1
Related formsbag·pip·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bagpipe

Historical Examples

  • We marched into the dining-room keeping step to the music of a bagpipe.

    A Daughter of the Middle Border

    Hamlin Garland

  • Finally a native dance to the accompaniment of the bagpipe was executed.

    Lucretia Borgia

    Ferdinand Gregorovius

  • To bagpipe the mizen is to lay it aback, by bringing the sheet to the mizen-shrouds.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • In modern Scotland the bagpipe has altogether taken the place of the harp.

    Lady of the Lake

    Sir Walter Scott

  • Let me tell you something that I have been thinking about the bagpipe.

British Dictionary definitions for bagpipe


  1. (modifier) of or relating to the bagpipesa bagpipe maker
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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

Word Origin and History for bagpipe


late 14c., from bag (n.) + pipe (n.1); originally a favorite instrument in England as well as the Celtic lands, but by 1912 English army officers' slang for it was agony bags. Related: Bagpiper (early 14c.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper