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[bag-pahyp] /ˈbægˌpaɪp/
Often, bagpipes. a reed instrument consisting of a melody pipe and one or more accompanying drone pipes protruding from a windbag into which the air is blown by the mouth or a bellows.
verb (used with object), bagpiped, bagpiping.
Nautical. to back (a fore-and-aft sail) by hauling the sheet to windward.
Origin of bagpipe
1300-50; Middle English baggepipe. See bag, pipe1
Related forms
bagpiper, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bagpipes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But his head was often heavy, and he could not sleep with the sound of the bagpipes.

    The Wee Scotch Piper Madeline Brandeis
  • Wandering Willie was nowhere, but the atmosphere was full of bagpipes.

    Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood George MacDonald
  • When the sheep all bleat together, it sounds very much like the shrieking of the bagpipes.

    The Wee Scotch Piper Madeline Brandeis
  • The bagpipes are a good thing in their place, but their place is with Dante and his Inferno.

    St. Cuthbert's Robert E. Knowles
  • They went in, passing the handsome Highlander playing the bagpipes at the door.

British Dictionary definitions for bagpipes


plural noun
any of a family of musical wind instruments in which sounds are produced in reed pipes supplied with air from a bag inflated either by the player's mouth, as in the Irish bagpipes or Highland bagpipes of Scotland, or by arm-operated bellows, as in the Northumbrian bagpipes


(modifier) of or relating to the bagpipes: a bagpipe maker
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
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Word Origin and History for bagpipes



late 14c., from bag (n.) + pipe (n.1); originally a favorite instrument in England as well as the Celtic lands, but by 1912 English army officers' slang for it was agony bags. Related: Bagpiper (early 14c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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