[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. horney, karen,
  2. hornfels,
  3. hornie,
  4. horning,
  5. hornito,
  6. hornpout,
  7. horns and halo effect,
  8. horns of a dilemma, on the,
  9. hornsby,
  10. hornsby, rogers

Origin of hornpipe

1350–1400; Middle English. See horn, pipe1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hornpipe

British Dictionary definitions for hornpipe


/ (ˈhɔːnˌpaɪp) /


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

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