Definition of panpipes in US English:


plural noun

  • A musical instrument made from a row of short pipes of varying length fixed together and played by blowing across the top.

    ‘the calm lingering sound of the panpipes’
    ‘panpipe music’
    • ‘The haunting sound of the large pan pipes, the melodious sound of the charango and the moving atmosphere created by the violin bring this diverse repertoire beautifully together.’
    • ‘New Agers of either sex will have collections full of warbling pan pipes, waterfalls and bird calls.’
    • ‘But then all these mandolins come in, and weird warbly flutes and recorders that I guess are trying to emulate South American pan pipes.’
    • ‘There was a South American band busking, the type with the pan pipes, flutes and drums.’
    • ‘Local bands from around the lake, Peruvian included, played three foot long pan pipes and hammered huge drums, current political borders mean little to their common Indian heritage.’


Originally associated with the Greek rural god Pan.



/ˈpan ˌpīps//ˈpæn ˌpaɪps/