pipe down

pipe down


  • to take to one or more notches down to its current standard
  • to request to maintain silence
  • to reduce noise

Example Sentences

  1. The exercise was piped down for the audiences because the original would have been too difficult for the crowd to follow.
  2. I would like to pipe the enthusiasm down by presenting to you the numbers associated with this task. They clearly show that the progress is much less than anticipated.
  3. Can you pipe down the loudspeakers?
  4. She has piped her business down by several notches after she had her baby.
  5. Although I like painting, I have piped it down because I have been told to get a real job by my parents.
  6. The instrumental music needs to be piped down so that the singers get the most attention on the stage.
  7. The decoration needs to piped down because this is a birthday party not a Halloween one.


The phrase originates from the navy where the signal to retire was the day was to pipe the hammocks down. The phrase was first used in 1798 in “Gillespie’s Advice to Commanders & Officers”. When the officers wanted peace they would ask the crew to pipe down into the deck space and that is where the meaning of requesting to be quiet comes from. The phrase with this meaning was first used in 1850 in “The Gettysburg Star And Banner”.

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