pipeline

[pahyp-lahyn]

noun

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.

verb (used with object), pipe·lined, pipe·lin·ing.

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.

Idioms

    in the pipeline,
    1. Informal.in the process of being developed, provided, or completed; in the works; under way.
    2. Government Informal.(of funds) authorized but not spent.

Origin of pipeline

First recorded in 1855–60; pipe1 + line1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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British Dictionary definitions for pipeline

pipeline

noun

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

verb (tr)

to convey by pipeline
to supply with a pipeline
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 pipeline
n.

1859, "continuous line of pipes," from pipe (n.1) + line (n.). Figurative sense of "channel of communication" is from 1921; surfer slang meaning "hollow part of a large wave" is attested by 1963.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper