1 [pee-an-oh, pyan-oh]
noun, plural pianos.
a musical instrument in which felt-covered hammers, operated from a keyboard, strike the metal strings.

1795–1805; short for pianoforte

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2 [pee-ah-noh; Italian pyah-naw] Music.
soft; subdued.
softly. Abbreviation: p, p.

1675–85; < Italian: soft, low (of sounds), plain, flat < Latin plānus plain1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
piano1 (pɪˈænəʊ)
n , pl -anos
grand piano See also upright piano a musical stringed instrument resembling a harp set in a vertical or horizontal frame, played by depressing keys that cause hammers to strike the strings and produce audible vibrations
[C19: short for pianoforte]

piano2 (ˈpjɑːnəʊ)
adj, —adv
music p (to be performed) softly
[C17: from Italian, from Latin plānus flat; see plain1]

Piano (Italian pjˈɑno)
Renzo. born 1937, Italian architect; buildings include the Pompidou Centre, Paris (1977; with Richard Rogers) and the Potsdamer Platz redevelopment, Berlin (1998)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1803, from Fr. piano, It. piano, shortened forms of pianoforte (q.v.). As an adv., "softly," in musical directions (superl. pianissimo), attested from 1683. Pianist is recorded from 1839, from Fr. pianiste, from It. pianista.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

piano definition

A musical direction meaning “to be performed softly”; the opposite of forte. As the name of a musical instrument, it is short for pianoforte.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Most ebony, however, is harvested to make musical instruments such as piano
  keys and the fingerboards of stringed instruments.
Isn't that similar to playing any instrument in the same room as a piano.
The guitar fret board and piano keys aren't anywhere near full-size, but
  they're serviceable.
At the end, his audience rose to applaud as for a piano virtuoso.
Images for piano
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