a person who plays on a pipe.
pay the piper,
- to pay the cost of something.
- to bear the unfavorable consequences of one's actions or pleasures: Someday he'll have to pay the piper for all that gambling.
Origin of piper
before 1000; Middle English; Old English pīpere.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for pay the piper
a person who plays a pipe or bagpipes
pay the piper and call the tune to bear the cost of an undertaking and control it
John. 1903–92, British artist. An official war artist in World War II, he is known esp for his watercolours of bombed churches and his stained glass in Coventry Cathedral
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for pay the piper
Old English pipere, agent noun from pipe (v.). As a kind of fish, from c.1600. Expression pay the piper recorded from 1680s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
To pay the consequences for self-indulgent behavior: “If you stay up late at night to watch TV, in the morning you will have to pay the piper.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with pay the piper
see call the tune (pay the piper).
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.