n. & v.
1. a tube of metal, plastic, wood, etc. used to convey water, gas, etc.
2 (also tobacco-pipe) a a narrow wooden or clay etc. tube with a bowl at one end containing burning tobacco, the smoke from which is drawn into the mouth. b the quantity of tobacco held by this (smoked a pipe).
3 Mus. a a wind instrument consisting of a single tube. b any of the tubes by which sound is produced in an organ. c (in pl.) BAGPIPES. d (in pl.) a set of pipes joined together, e.g. pan-pipes.
4 a tubal organ, vessel, etc. in an animal's body.
5 a high note or song, esp. of a bird.
6 a cylindrical vein of ore.
7 a cavity in cast metal.
8 a a boatswain's whistle. b the sounding of this.
9 a cask for wine, esp. as a measure of two hogsheads, usu. equivalent to 105 gallons (about 477 litres).
10 archaic the voice, esp. in singing.
1. (also absol.) play (a tune etc.) on a pipe or pipes.
2 a convey (oil, water, gas, etc.) by pipes. b provide with pipes.
3 transmit (music, a radio programme, etc.) by wire or cable.
4 (usu. foll. by up, on, to, etc.) Naut. a summon (a crew) to a meal, work, etc. b signal the arrival of (an officer etc.) on board.
5 utter in a shrill voice; whistle.
6 a arrange (icing, cream, etc.) in decorative lines or twists on a cake etc. b ornament (a cake etc.) with piping.
7 trim (a dress etc.) with piping.
8 lead or bring (a person etc.) by the sound of a pipe.
9 propagate (pinks etc.) by taking cuttings at the joint of a stem.
Phrases and idioms:
pipe away give a signal for (a boat) to start. pipe-cleaner a piece of flexible covered wire for cleaning a tobacco-pipe. pipe down
1. colloq. be quiet or less insistent.
2 Naut. dismiss from duty. pipe-fish any of various long slender fish of the family Syngnathidae, with an elongated snout. pipe-light a spill for lighting a pipe. pipe major an NCO commanding regimental pipers. pipe-organ Mus. an organ using pipes instead of or as well as reeds. pipe-rack a rack for holding tobacco-pipes. pipe-rolls hist. the annual records of the British Exchequer from the 12th-19th c. prob. because subsidiary documents were rolled in pipe form. pipe-stem the shaft of a tobacco-pipe. pipe-stone a hard red clay used by US Indians for tobacco-pipes. pipe up begin to play, sing, speak, etc. put that in your pipe and smoke it colloq. a challenge to another to accept something frank or unwelcome.
pipeful n. (pl. -fuls). pipeless adj. pipy adj.
Etymology: OE pipe, pipian & OF piper f. Gmc ult. f. L pipare peep, chirp