Definition of piping in US English:



  • 1Lengths of pipe, or a network of pipes, made of metal, plastic, or other materials.

    • ‘He stood and thought how he could get it down; he tried long plastic piping, ladders and bad words.’
    • ‘In February 2004, volunteers cast off their veils to install a 350 ft water pipe and 150 ft of waste piping.’
    • ‘The plumbing code specifies which kinds of material are safe and legal for gas piping, the most common being black or galvanized steel pipe.’
    • ‘Sliding past the window are endless yards of lumber, fabricated metal and piping of all sizes.’
    • ‘Corrosion inhibitors protect metal equipment and piping from the effect of prolonged contact with water.’
    • ‘It was replaced at half time by a length of plastic piping that is normally used as a goal post during Little League games.’
    • ‘If the piping is plastic with compression (threaded-type) fittings, save it for possible reuse.’
    • ‘An extensive patio in Indian limestone is fitted with a barbecue area with gas piping.’
    • ‘Maintenance costs, too, are lower than for traditional systems, since the plastic piping will last 50 to 75 years.’
    • ‘The initial thought of his sister had him fixing a fire hose and using the long length of piping to lend to his escape.’
    • ‘The duct network consists of plastic piping routed from the motor to the outlet sockets.’
    • ‘The pitchfork is made from rigid plastic piping and heavy paper, and it hooks into his hand to help him stand up unassisted.’
    • ‘Police had to call in specialist teams to cut free protesters who chained their wrists together inside plastic piping.’
    • ‘The plant's growth is restricted both by underground piping and the foundations of the path.’
    • ‘Eventually, the barricades would be replaced by waist-high partitions made of vertical rows of blue plastic piping several inches in diameter.’
    • ‘Underground piping was priced at $50.00 an acre.’
    • ‘My attempts to bisect a length of 6in piping with a shaped charge would not have qualified me to sink the Belgrano.’
    • ‘They had entered the building to find it full of plastic piping.’
    • ‘Cheerful red metal piping was used to create the railing system on this B grade redwood deck.’
    cheep, chirp, chirrup, tweet, twitter, chirr, pipe, warble, squeak, chatter
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  • 2Ornamentation on food consisting of lines of icing, whipped cream, etc.

  • 3Thin cord covered in fabric, used to decorate clothing or soft furnishings and reinforce seams.

    • ‘At the level of what Barthes calls the ‘vestimentary code’, the code of what is fashionable, prints and piping are signifiers whose signified is fashionable.’
    • ‘Other style-conscious additions include graphic seams, decorative piping and raw edging.’
    • ‘He was wearing a dark hooded top and black jogging bottoms with broad white piping.’
    • ‘He is described as Asian, aged about 25, thin and wearing a light blue jacket with white piping.’
    • ‘The designs on the dress-like part of her outfit were mainly in white and gold, while the remainder of her outfit was primarily red with blue piping on the sides of it wherever possible.’
    • ‘Inside the specially reinforced closet hung a tight fitting black suit with white piping along the collar, arms and legs.’
    • ‘For doubles, the over-the-shoulder Holman features two racquet sleeves and a solid background with contrasting piping.’
    • ‘He wears a beige Stetson hat, a black cravat and a black suit with white piping.’
    • ‘Obviously custom, the front seats consisted of black leather adorned with white piping; something to be admired, car-guy or not.’
    • ‘Replacing exuberant floral country chintz and contrasting piping, the sedate slipcovers produced instant calm - a comfort zone for Bob.’
    • ‘For the version with an added insert, baste mini piping to the lower edge of the insert, matching the raw edges.’
    • ‘Beneath that outer layer was yet more clothing, something of a light grey almost the same hue as his own skin with blue piping.’
    • ‘The current fashion must-have is a hunt coat featuring coordinating piping around the lapels.’
    • ‘He used fan pleating on the back of a cream skirt and piping in other designs to further demonstrate his point the garments' innate ability to flatter a woman.’
    • ‘She adjusted the suit to reveal more of her pinkish flesh under the white piping that rimmed the bust line.’
    • ‘The bathing suit was a one piece with a pink background with tiny white polka dots and white piping.’
    • ‘Total cost for the cover, including piping, zipper and thread: $75 and change.’
    • ‘Matching gloves reached up past her elbows and were lined with a blue piping that also outlined the high neck of the suit and ran down the whole left side of her body.’
    • ‘Stevie had on this tight white T-shirt with red piping at the neck and arms.’
    • ‘He was wearing a beige jacket with red piping on the sleeves, dark jogging bottoms and dark trainers.’
  • 4The action or art of playing a pipe or pipes.

    • ‘The new students' teacher, Sergeant Gunn, said piping is about blowing, squeezing and wiggling.’
    • ‘A low, fitful piping, as of some reedy flute, was coming from the depth of a neighbouring copse, and there seemed to be some subtle connection between the animal's restless pacing and the wild music from the wood.’
    • ‘Eventually, Josephine is missing; nobody can find her and everyone misses her music, her piping, and her singing.’
    • ‘This event commemorates the birth of the famous Scottish bard on January 25th 1759 and has as its focal point the ceremonial piping in of the haggis, it being addressed and then stabbed and served.’
    • ‘The Irish Uilleann pipes were played and made in northern cities such as Philadelphia in the nineteenth century, but I've seen no evidence of early piping in the South.’


  • attributive High-pitched.

    ‘the piping voice of a little girl’
    • ‘‘My piping little voice,’ he says with a cackle, tickled by the recollection.’
    • ‘One early spring morning in 1992,1 heard a shrill, piping squeak from the terrace.’
    • ‘My other brothers and the policeman arrived back quickly, Jas asking in his piping voice what was going on.’
    • ‘Tyranowski spoke in a high, piping voice and stilted phrases from books on spirituality; he became a substitute father and mother.’
    • ‘He was muttering something to himself in that piping voice of his, and the wounded surprise in his voice brought home to me that he was just a child himself.’
    • ‘I would hear a piping voice say, ‘It's old Grandfather Ueshiba here, is young Shioda there?’’
    • ‘Although 36 years old when the film was made, Jonny spoke with a high, piping voice.’
    • ‘Their range includes hunch-whistles, high squeaky or piping whistles, trills, and alarm screams.’
    • ‘Narrated in a high piping voice, the story concerns a police chief who pursues a robber into a church.’
    • ‘‘Her Grace, the Duchess of Kensingbroke,’ the page announced in his piping soprano.’
    • ‘I sensed a sly, sudden presence to my right, perhaps a cat or a dog, then heard a shrill, piping voice that might have come from a child made of metal.’
    shrill, strident, piercing, carrying, clearly audible, loud, strong, high, high-pitched, ear-piercing, ear-splitting, screechy, intrusive
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