[ pahyp-lahyn ]
See synonyms for pipeline on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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 about pipeline

  1. 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

First recorded in 1855–60; pipe1 + line1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pipeline in a sentence

  • Pipelines were the principal carriers of liquid petroleum and natural gas.

    Area Handbook for Romania | Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • In a few years the whole oil region of Venango County was an inextricable tangle of these primitive pipelines.

    The Age of Big Business | Burton J. Hendrick
  • Rather fancy this Warrington chap has been working along the new pipelines.

    Parrot & Co. | Harold MacGrath
  • We can't until the railroad can haul it, or the pipelines can pump it.

    The Year When Stardust Fell | Raymond F. Jones

British Dictionary definitions for pipeline


/ (ˈpaɪpˌlaɪn) /

  1. a long pipe, esp underground, used to transport oil, natural gas, etc, over long distances

  2. a medium of communication, esp a private one

  1. in the pipeline in the process of being completed, delivered, or produced

  1. to convey by pipeline

  2. 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