- a tube used as, or to form an essential part of, a musical wind instrument.
- a musical wind instrument consisting of a single tube of straw, reed, wood, or other material, as a flute, clarinet, or oboe.
- one of the wooden or metal tubes from which the tones of an organ are produced.
- a small end-blown flute played with one hand while the other beats a small drum.
- a cylindrical vein or body of ore.
- (in South Africa) a vertical, cylindrical matrix, of intrusive igneous origin, in which diamonds are found.
verb (used without object), piped, pip·ing.
verb (used with object), piped, pip·ing.
- to begin to play (a musical instrument) or to sing.
- to make oneself heard; speak up, especially as to assert oneself.
- to increase in velocity, as the wind.
Origin of pipe1
Synonyms for pipe
verb (intr, adverb)
- an object made in any of various shapes and sizes, consisting of a small bowl with an attached tubular stem, in which tobacco or other substances are smoked
- (as modifier)a pipe bowl
- any musical instrument whose sound production results from the vibration of an air column in a simple tube
- any of the tubular devices on an organ, in which air is made to vibrate either directly, as in a flue pipe, or by means of a reed
- a boatswain's pipe
- the sound it makes
- to signal orders to (the crew) by a boatswain's pipe
- (tr)to signal the arrival or departure ofto pipe the admiral aboard
Word Origin for pipe
Word Origin for pipe
Old English pipe "musical wind instrument," also "tube to convey water," from Vulgar Latin *pipa "a pipe, tube-shaped musical instrument" (source of Italian pipa, French pipe, Old Frisian pipe, German Pfeife, Danish pibe, Swedish pipa, Dutch pijp), a back-formation from Latin pipare "to chirp or peep," of imitative origin. All tubular senses ultimately derive from "small reed, whistle." Meaning "device for smoking" first recorded 1590s. Pipe-bomb attested from 1960. Pipe-cleaner recorded from 1863.
Old English pipian "to play on a pipe," from Latin pipare "to peep, chirp" (see pipe (n.1)). Cf. Dutch pijpen, German pfeifen. Meaning "convey through pipes" is first recorded 1887. Related: Piped; piping. Piping hot is in Chaucer, a reference to hissing of food in a frying pan; to pipe up (early 15c.) originally meant "to begin to play" (on a musical instrument); sense of "to speak out" is from 1856. Pipe down "be quiet" is from 1900; earlier in nautical jargon it meant "use a boatswain's whistle to dismiss the men from duty" (1833).
type of cask, early 14c., from Old French pipe "liquid measure, cask for wine," from a special use of Vulgar Latin *pipa "pipe" (see pipe (n.1)).
Speak up, as in Finally she piped up, “I think I've got the winning ticket,” or Pipe up if you want more pancakes. This term originally referred to a high, piping tone. [Mid-1800s]
In addition to the idioms beginning with pipe
- pipe down
- pipe dream
- pipe up
- in the pipeline
- lead-pipe cinch
- put that in your pipe