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set of pipes (plural sets of pipes)

  1. (music) A wind instrument incorporating multiple pipes, such as a panpipe or bagpipe.
    • 1916, Elbert Hubbard, Little Journeys Vol. 7: Eminent Orators, "Savonarola":
      The old man taught the boy to play the flute, and together they constructed a set of pipes—the pipes o' Pan—and out along the river they would play.
  2. (idiomatic) Voice for singing.
    • 1995, Waymon Wong, "Damone: ‘V’ for Vic-tory at Rainbow, his crooning still sends 'em swooning," New York Daily News, 22 Aug. (retrieved 25 May 2009):
      Since the 1950s, Vic Damone has always had a great set of pipes, but at 67, he's plumbing his songs with a maturity and grace that's even more mesmerizing.
    • 2009, Darryl Sterdan, "Peaches pushing the boundaries," Jam! Showbiz at, 18 May (retrieved 25 May 2009):
      Peaches—who usually raps her lyrics in husky tones—also reveals she has one helluva set of pipes, belting out "Talk to Me" with enough power to give any disco diva pause.