Definition of uillean pipes in English:

Share this entry

uillean pipes

Pronunciation: /ˈilən/ Pronunciation: /ˈilyən/

plural noun

Irish bagpipes played resting on the knee using bellows worked by the elbow, and having three extra pipes on which chords can be played.
Example sentences
  • At the forefront of the Irish traditional music scene, along with the likes of Altan and Sligo's own Dervish, this critically-acclaimed five-piece offer a unique blend of fiddle, flute, uillean pipes and guitar.
  • Maddy will be joined on stage by Nick Holland on keyboards and Troy Donockley on uillean pipes, guitar, cittern and whistle.
  • ‘Irish airs, the uillean pipes - music like that affects me physically,’ she said.


Early 20th century: from Irish píob uilleann, literally 'pipe of the elbow'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: uil·lean pipes

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.