Main definitions of piano in US English:

: piano1piano2

piano1

nounPlural pianos, Plural piani

  • A large keyboard musical instrument with a wooden case enclosing a soundboard and metal strings, which are struck by hammers when the keys are depressed. The strings' vibration is stopped by dampers when the keys are released and can be regulated for length and volume by two or three pedals.

    • ‘"My earliest musical memory is of starting to learn piano at the age of about five.’
    • ‘Upright pianos usually are smaller, with a square top, and just fit up against the wall.’
    • ‘He would like to be able to teach piano at some time in the future.’
    • ‘Charlotte not only teaches piano, but also voice, recorder, clarinet, flute and bassoon.’
    • ‘Which means, when following daily routines, it's time to practice piano.’
    • ‘They are regular pianos with real strings and keys but they are driven by digital pitch information from a computer.’
    • ‘From classical piano at an early age, her interests developed through studies in Celtic Harp and percussion.’
    • ‘Although I studied piano for many years I never really became a player.’
    • ‘His cello and piano Sonata is full of endless quips and surprises.’
    • ‘The girl next door had been playing her grand piano for the past two days.’
    • ‘I am playing Bach on the upright piano in the living room.’
    • ‘There's an upright piano in the living room.’
    • ‘Watching that player piano inspired me to overcome my reticence and take lessons.’
    • ‘I like to use pianos and strings and brass as I feel that they are the most precious instruments to use.’
    • ‘Stanley had a great love of music and played a baby grand piano.’
    • ‘She's also a musician herself, having taken piano lessons since she was eight.’
    • ‘He additionally studied piano for eleven years and saxophone for five.’
    • ‘I studied classical ballet for about ten years, and I also studied classical piano for about ten years.’
    • ‘The opus 39 Waltzes began as a work for solo piano.’
    • ‘The Steinway piano is in place, and the announcements are about to begin.’

Origin

Early 19th century: from Italian, abbreviation of pianoforte.

Pronunciation

piano

/pēˈanō/

Main definitions of piano in US English:

: piano1piano2

piano2

adjective & adverb

Music
  • (especially as a direction) soft or softly.

    • ‘The sound climbs to a level it maintains until the final moment when subito, or sudden piano, returns.’
    • ‘Dynamics tend to be confined between forte and piano.’
    • ‘Play the piece without regard to dynamic changes; that is, play it piano.’

nounPlural pianos, Plural piani

Music
  • A passage marked to be performed softly.

    • ‘Her sudden piano followed by an immediate crescendo (surely a party piece!) was one of several delights delivered with real personality.’
    • ‘Notice the sudden piano after the crescendo.’
    • ‘There is a crescendo, a sudden piano, a diminuendo and quiet ending in D.’

Origin

Italian, literally ‘soft’.

Pronunciation

piano

/pēˈanō/