pyramid

When you think pyramid, you're probably picturing the famous pyramids of Egypt — the enormous triangular monuments where pharaohs were buried thousands of years ago.

Besides being a polyhedron shape, pyramid can also represent shady financial dealings. If you've got a pyramid scheme — and if you do, you may be reading this from your jail cell — you have people buy into your "investment" and then they recruit others to buy in, too. The early investors rise in the pyramid and are then paid "returns" out of the funds paid in by the new investors they've recruited (the pyramid base), and on and on.

Primary Meanings of pyramid

1.
nv
a polyhedron having a polygonal base and triangular sides with a common vertex
arrange or build up as if on the base of a pyramid
2.
nv
(stock market) a series of transactions in which the speculator increases his holdings by using the rising market value of those holdings as margin for further purchases
use or deal in (as of stock or commercial transaction) in a pyramid deal
Full Definitions of pyramid
1

n a polyhedron having a polygonal base and triangular sides with a common vertex

Type of:
polyhedron
a solid figure bounded by plane polygons or faces

v arrange or build up as if on the base of a pyramid

Type of:
arrange, set up
put into a proper or systematic order

v increase rapidly and progressively step by step on a broad base

Type of:
increase
become bigger or greater in amount
2

n (stock market) a series of transactions in which the speculator increases his holdings by using the rising market value of those holdings as margin for further purchases

Type of:
speculation, venture
an investment that is very risky but could yield great profits

v use or deal in (as of stock or commercial transaction) in a pyramid deal

Type of:
deal, sell, trade
do business; offer for sale as for one's livelihood

v enlarge one's holdings on an exchange on a continued rise by using paper profits as margin to buy additional amounts

Type of:
benefit, gain, profit
derive a benefit from

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