Perhaps from Ancient Greek πῡραμός (pūramós) + -ῐ́ς (-ís), from πῡρός (pūrós, “wheat”) + ἀμάω (amáō, “reap”), or from Egyptian pr-m-ws (“height of a pyramid”), from pr (“(one that) comes forth”) + m (“from”) + ws (“height?”). If the ‘cake’ sense of the word is primary and was later applied to the Egyptian monuments from their resemblance in shape, then the Greek etymology is probable; however, the shape of the cake is unknown, and the ‘monument’ sense is attested a century earlier than the ‘cake’ sense, so that the Greek derivation is problematic. The Egyptian derivation is also problematic in that there is a gap of 1100 years between the attestation of pr-m-ws and that of πυραμίς. It is also possible that the ‘monument’ sense and the ‘cake’ sense were originally etymologically distinct but came to be identical due to folk etymology.
|Case / #||Singular||Dual||Plural|
|ταῖς πῡρᾰμῐ́σῐ / πῡρᾰμῐ́σῐν|
- πυραμίς in Liddell & Scott (1940) A Greek–English Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- πυραμίς in Liddell & Scott (1889) An Intermediate Greek–English Lexicon, New York: Harper & Brothers
- πυραμίς in Bailly, Anatole (1935) Le Grand Bailly: Dictionnaire grec-français, Paris: Hachette
- Woodhouse, S. C. (1910) English–Greek Dictionary: A Vocabulary of the Attic Language, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Limited.
- pyramid idem, page 662.