- a hollow, usually cylindrical body of metal, glass, rubber, or other material, used especially for conveying or containing liquids or gases.
- a small, collapsible, cylinder of metal or plastic sealed at one end and having a capped opening at the other from which paint, toothpaste, or some other semifluid substance may be squeezed.
- Anatomy, Zoology. any hollow, cylindrical vessel or organ: the bronchial tubes.
- any hollow, elongated body or part.
- the united lower portion of a gamopetalous corolla or a gamosepalous calyx.
- inner tube.
- Electronics. electron tube.
- mailing tube.
- the tubular tunnel in which an underground railroad runs.
- the railroad itself.
- Surfing Slang. the curled hollow formed on the underside of a cresting wave.
- British. subway(def 1).
- Australian Slang. a can of beer.
- Older Slang. a telescope.
- to furnish with a tube or tubes.
- to convey or enclose in a tube.
- to form into the shape of a tube; make tubular.
- down the tube/tubes, Informal. into a ruined, wasted, or abandoned state or condition.
Origin of tube
- a long hollow and typically cylindrical object, used for the passage of fluids or as a container
- a collapsible cylindrical container of soft metal or plastic closed with a cap, used to hold viscous liquids or pastes
- the lower part of a gamopetalous corolla or gamosepalous calyx, below the lobes
- any other hollow structure in a plant
- the tube British
- Also called: the undergroundan underground railway systemUS and Canadian equivalent: subway
- the tunnels through which the railway runs
- the train itself
- (capital) trademarkthe London underground railway system
- the tube slang a television set
- British slang a stupid or despicable person
- Australian slang a bottle or can of beer
- surfing the cylindrical passage formed when a wave breaks and the crest tips forward
- an archaic word for telescope
- to fit or supply with a tube or tubes
- to carry or convey in a tube
- to shape like a tube
Word Origin and History for down the tube
1610s, from Middle French tube (mid-15c.), from Latin tubus "tube, pipe," of unknown origin. The London subway was christened the Twopenny Tube before it even opened (H.D. Browne, in the "Londoner" of June 30, 1900); tube for "cylindrical railway tunnel" is attested from 1847. The meaning "TV as a medium" is from 1959, short for cathode ray tube or picture tube. Tube top as a women's clothing style is attested from 1972. Tube steak is attested from 1963 as "frankfurter," slang meaning "penis" is recorded by mid-1980s. Tubing as a recreational pastime is recorded from 1975.
- A hollow cylinder, especially one that conveys a fluid or functions as a passage.
- An anatomical structure or organ having the shape or function of a tube; a duct.
Idioms and Phrases with down the tube
see down the tubes.