• synonyms


  1. a person who plays on a pipe.
  2. a bagpiper.
Show More
  1. pay the piper,
    1. to pay the cost of something.
    2. to bear the unfavorable consequences of one's actions or pleasures: Someday he'll have to pay the piper for all that gambling.
Show More

Origin of piper

before 1000; Middle English; Old English pīpere. See pipe1, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for piper

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

British Dictionary definitions for piper


  1. a person who plays a pipe or bagpipes
  2. pay the piper and call the tune to bear the cost of an undertaking and control it
Show More


  1. 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
Show More
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 piper


Old English pipere, agent noun from pipe (v.). As a kind of fish, from c.1600. Expression pay the piper recorded from 1680s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with piper


see call the tune (pay the piper).

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.