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[hawrn-pahyp] /ˈhɔrnˌpaɪp/
an English folk clarinet having one ox horn concealing the reed and another forming the bell.
a lively jiglike dance, originally to music played on a hornpipe, performed usually by one person, and traditionally a favorite of sailors.
a piece of music for or in the style of such a dance.
Origin of hornpipe
1350-1400; Middle English. See horn, pipe1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hornpipe
Historical Examples
  • You might as well try to sing a long-metre hymn to "Fisher's hornpipe," as to undertake to dance to that polka.

  • In Britain, you have the hornpipe, a dance which is held an original of this country.

    A Treatise on the Art of Dancing Giovanni-Andrea Gallini
  • She said to him: "Not for Joseph;" the consequence was they danced the hornpipe, and the world said , "Just what we expected."

    My Book of Indoor Games Clarence Squareman
  • He intimated also to Jack that he must get up and go through his hornpipe again.

    Salt Water W. H. G. Kingston
  • The little fellow clung on; but the crazy horse, instead of running, began a hornpipe right between the deadly rails.

    The Nerve of Foley Frank H. Spearman
  • It's like saying your prayers to a hornpipe, thinking of her and carrying on with them wastrels.

  • Theyll be sayin the Old Hundredth is a Dutch hornpipe next, he growled.

    The Message Louis Tracy
  • I could dance a hornpipe with anybody, and forward I came to listen.

    The Maid of Sker Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  • You've just been after the fiddle, and they're going to dance the Fisher's hornpipe next.

    Madelon Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
  • Dick, highly delighted, started in to do a sailor's hornpipe.

British Dictionary definitions for hornpipe


an obsolete reed instrument with a mouthpiece made of horn
an old British solo dance to a hornpipe accompaniment, traditionally performed by sailors
a piece of music for such a dance
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 hornpipe

c.1400, hornepype, "musical instrument with bell and mouthpiece made of horn," from horn (n.) + pipe (n.1). Later (late 15c.) "dance associated with sailors" (originally performed to music from such an instrument).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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