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in the pipeline

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1

In process, under way, as in The blueprints for the new machine are in the pipeline, but it will take months to get approval. [Colloquial; 1940s] Also see in the works.

2

Budgeted for something but not yet spent, as in There's $5 million more in the pipeline for the city schools. [Colloquial; second half of 1900s]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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