noun, plural pies.

  1. printing types mixed together indiscriminately.
  2. any confused mixture; jumble.

verb (used with object), pied, pi·ing.

  1. to reduce (printing types) to a state of confusion.
  2. to jumble.

noun, verb (used with object), pied, pie·ing.

  1. pi2.

abbreviation for

  1. Philippine Islands
  2. private investigator

noun plural pis

  1. the 16th letter in the Greek alphabet (Π, π), a consonant, transliterated as p
  2. maths a transcendental number, fundamental to mathematics, that is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Approximate value: 3.141 592…; symbol: π

noun plural pies

  1. a jumbled pile of printer’s type
  2. a jumbled mixture

verb pies, piing, pied, pies, pieing or pied (tr)

  1. to spill and mix (set type) indiscriminately
  2. to mix up


  1. British slang short for pious (def. 2), pious (def. 3)


  1. a baked food consisting of a sweet or savoury filling in a pastry-lined dish, often covered with a pastry crust
  2. have a finger in the pie
    1. to have an interest in or take part in some activity
    2. to meddle or interfere
  3. pie in the sky illusory hope or promise of some future good; false optimism


  1. an archaic or dialect name for magpie

noun, verb

  1. printing a variant spelling of pi 2


  1. a very small former Indian coin worth one third of a pice


  1. history a book for finding the Church service for any particular day


  1. be pie on NZ informal to be keen on

n.Greek letter, from Hebrew, literally “little mouth.” As the name of the mathematical constant, from 1841 in English, used in Latin 1748 by Swiss mathematician Leonhart Euler (1707-1783), as an abbreviation of Greek periphereia “periphery.” For the meaning “printer’s term for mixed type,” see pie (3). n.1“pastry,” mid-14c. (probably older; piehus “bakery” is attested from late 12c.), from Medieval Latin pie “meat or fish enclosed in pastry” (c.1300), perhaps related to Medieval Latin pia “pie, pastry,” also possibly connected with pica “magpie” (see pie (n.2)) on notion of the bird’s habit of collecting miscellaneous objects. Figurative of “something to be shared out” by 1967. According to OED, not known outside English, except Gaelic pighe, which is from English. In the Middle Ages, a pie had many ingredients, a pastry but one. Fruit pies began to appear c.1600. Figurative sense of “something easy” is from 1889. Pie-eyed “drunk” is from 1904. Phrase pie in the sky is 1911, from Joe Hill’s Wobbly parody of hymns. Pieman is not attested earlier than the nursery rhyme “Simple Simon” (c.1820). Pie chart is from 1922. n.2“magpie,” mid-13c. (late 12c. as a surname), from Old French pie (13c.), from Latin pica “magpie” (see magpie). In 16c., a wily pie was a “cunning person.” n.3also pi, printers’ slang for “a mass of type jumbled together” (also pi, pye), 1650s, perhaps from pie (n.1) on notion of a “medley,” or pie (n.2); cf. pica (n.1). As a verb from 1870. Related: Pied. n. pl. pis

  1. The 16th letter of the Greek alphabet.


  1. The pH value for the isoelectric point of a given substance in solution.

  1. An irrational number that has a numerical value of 3.14159265358979… and is represented by the symbol π. It expresses the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle and appears in many mathematical expressions.

The irrational number obtained by dividing the length of the diameter of a circle into its circumference. Pi is approximately 3.1416. The sign for pi is π. In addition to the idiom beginning with pie

  • pie in the sky
  • also see:

  • apple-pie order
  • easy as pie
  • eat crow (humble pie)
  • finger in the pie
  • slice of the pie
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