- a long tubular conduit or series of pipes, often underground, with pumps and valves for flow control, used to transport crude oil, natural gas, water, etc., especially over great distances.
- a route, channel, or process along which something passes or is provided at a steady rate; means, system, or flow of supply or supplies: Freighters and cargo planes are a pipeline for overseas goods.
- a channel of information, especially one that is direct, privileged, or confidential; inside source; reliable contact.
- to convey by or as if by pipeline: to pipeline oil from the far north to ice-free ports; to pipeline graduates into the top jobs.
- in the pipeline,
- Informal.in the process of being developed, provided, or completed; in the works; under way.
- Government Informal.(of funds) authorized but not spent.
Origin of pipeline
- a long pipe, esp underground, used to transport oil, natural gas, etc, over long distances
- a medium of communication, esp a private one
- in the pipeline in the process of being completed, delivered, or produced
- to convey by pipeline
- to supply with a pipeline
in the pipeline
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.
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]