See more synonyms for flume on Thesaurus.com
  1. a deep narrow defile containing a mountain stream or torrent.
  2. an artificial channel or trough for conducting water, as one used to transport logs or provide water power.
  3. an amusement park ride in which passengers are carried in a boatlike or loglike conveyance through a narrow, water-filled chute or over a water slide.
verb (used with object), flumed, flum·ing.
  1. to transport in a flume.
  2. to divert (a stream) by a flume.

Origin of flume

1125–75; Middle English flum < Old FrenchLatin flūmen stream
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for flume

sluice, conduit, run, channel, spillway

Examples from the Web for flume

Historical Examples of flume

  • The flume, the ditch, and the wing-dam, are the chief tasks of the river-miner.

  • Granger was attending to the flume which they had constructed.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • If that's lost the whole expedition will be up the flume, as we miners used to say.

  • A flume had to be constructed before it could again be used.

  • "The flume has fallen and turned the river," said Christie hurriedly.

    Devil's Ford

    Bret Harte

British Dictionary definitions for flume


  1. a ravine through which a stream flows
  2. a narrow artificial channel made for providing water for power, floating logs, etc
  3. a slide in the form of a long and winding tube with a stream of water running through it that descends into a purpose-built pool
  1. (tr) to transport (logs) in a flume

Word Origin for flume

C12: from Old French flum, ultimately from Latin flūmen stream, from fluere to flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for flume

late 12c., "stream," from Old French flum "running water, stream, river," from Latin flumen "flood, stream, running water," from fluere "to flow" (see fluent). In U.S., used especially of artificial streams channeled for some industrial purpose.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper