[test-toob, -tyoob]


produced in or as if in a test tube; synthetic or experimental.

Origin of test-tube

First recorded in 1885–90

test tube


a hollow cylinder of thin glass with one end closed, used in chemical and biological experimentation and analysis.

Origin of test tube

First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for test-tube

test tube


a cylindrical round-bottomed glass tube open at one end: used in scientific experiments
(modifier) made synthetically in, or as if in, a test tubea test-tube product
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 test-tube

1809, from test (n.) + tube (n.). So called because it originally was used to test the properties of liquids. Test-tube baby is recorded from 1935.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

test-tube in Medicine



Produced or cultivated in a test tube.
Conceived by or developed from fertilization in laboratory apparatus or by artificial insemination.

test tube


A clear, cylindrical glass tube usually open at one end and rounded at the other, used in laboratory experimentation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

test-tube in Science

test tube


A cylindrical tube of clear glass, usually open at one end and rounded at the other, used as a container for small amounts of a substance in laboratory tests and experiments.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.