Origin of plumbing
- a small mass of lead or other heavy material, as that suspended by a line and used to measure the depth of water or to ascertain a vertical line.Compare plumb line.
- true according to a plumb line perpendicular.
- Informal. downright or absolute.
- in a perpendicular or vertical direction.
- exactly, precisely, or directly.
- Informal. completely or absolutely: She was plumb mad. You're plumb right.
- to test or adjust by a plumb line.
- to make vertical.
- Shipbuilding. horn(def 32).
- to sound with or as with a plumb line.
- to measure (depth) by sounding.
- to examine closely in order to discover or understand: to plumb someone's thoughts.
- to seal with lead.
- to weight with lead.
- to provide (a house, building, apartment, etc.) with plumbing.
- to work as a plumber.
- out of/off plumb, not corresponding to the perpendicular; out of true.
Origin of plumb
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for plumbing
They found the building was a shell, with no apparently electricity or plumbing, and no completed inner construction.Nobody’s Home at the Hermit Kingdom’s Ghost Hotel
May 22, 2014
Pliny the Elder considered their plumbing to be the greatest accomplishment of the Roman Empire.The Scariest Thing About Sandy: Guarding the Water Supply
October 30, 2012
Hotel maintenance is a never-ending job, and plumbing can be very expensive to fix.Gordon Ramsay: 7 Hotel Horrors!
August 9, 2012
Even once the plumbing was installed, some jugs of hot water were still taken up.The Real Downton Abbey: Juiciest Bits From 'The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle'
January 1, 2012
Well, if you hire a cheap plumber, don't be surprised when the plumbing breaks.America's New Mercenaries
December 15, 2010
"There seems to be a leak in the plumbing somewhere on this floor," the man went on.
You may look over the plumbing in the bathroom whenever you are ready.
Constructions involved in the house, other than the plumbing fixtures.Rural Hygiene
Henry N. Ogden
Leadership has improved its table manners, its plumbing, and its God.Erik Dorn
And you know that it needs everything from plumbing to linen.Gigolo
- Also called: plumbery the trade or work of a plumber
- the pipes, fixtures, etc, used in a water, drainage, or gas installation
- the act or procedure of using a plumb to gauge depth, a vertical, etc
- a weight, usually of lead, suspended at the end of a line and used to determine water depth or verticality
- the perpendicular position of a freely suspended plumb line (esp in the phrases out of plumb, off plumb)
- (prenominal) informal, mainly US (intensifier)a plumb nuisance
- in a vertical or perpendicular line
- informal, mainly US (intensifier)plumb stupid
- informal exactly; precisely (also in the phrase plumb on)
- (tr often foll by up) to test the alignment of or adjust to the vertical with a plumb line
- (tr) to undergo or experience (the worst extremes of misery, sadness, etc)to plumb the depths of despair
- (tr) to understand or master (something obscure)to plumb a mystery
- to connect or join (a device such as a tap) to a water pipe or drainage system
Word Origin and History for plumbing
mid-15c., "the weighting of a fishing line," verbal noun from plumb (v.). Specific meaning "water and drainage pipes" is recorded by 1875, American English.
THE apparatus by which the water from a reservoir is carried about over a building and delivered at points convenient for use, is called by the general name of plumbing. The word "plumbing" means lead-work; and it is used to signify this water apparatus of a house because the pipes of which it largely consists are usually made of lead. [Edward Abbott, "Long Look House: A Book for Boys and Girls," Boston, 1877]
Alternative plumbery also is mid-15c. Slang meaning "a person's reproductive organs" attested by 1975.
"lead hung on a string to show the vertical line," early 14c., from Old French *plombe, plomee "sounding lead," and directly from Late Latin *plumba, originally plural of Latin plumbum "lead (the metal), lead ball; pipe; pencil," a word of unknown origin, related to Greek molybdos "lead" (dialectal bolimos) and perhaps from an extinct Mediterranean language, perhaps Iberian.
"perpendicular, vertical," mid-15c., from plumb (n.). The notion of "exact measurement" led to extended sense of "completely, downright" (1748), sometimes spelled plump, plum, or plunk.