[toob, tyoob]
See more synonyms for tube on
  1. a hollow, usually cylindrical body of metal, glass, rubber, or other material, used especially for conveying or containing liquids or gases.
  2. a small, collapsible, cylinder of metal or plastic sealed at one end and having a capped opening at the other from which paint, toothpaste, or some other semifluid substance may be squeezed.
  3. Anatomy, Zoology. any hollow, cylindrical vessel or organ: the bronchial tubes.
  4. Botany.
    1. any hollow, elongated body or part.
    2. the united lower portion of a gamopetalous corolla or a gamosepalous calyx.
  5. inner tube.
  6. Electronics. electron tube.
  7. Informal.
    1. television.
    2. a television set.
  8. mailing tube.
  9. the tubular tunnel in which an underground railroad runs.
  10. the railroad itself.
  11. Surfing Slang. the curled hollow formed on the underside of a cresting wave.
  12. British. subway(def 1).
  13. Australian Slang. a can of beer.
  14. Older Slang. a telescope.
verb (used with object), tubed, tub·ing.
  1. to furnish with a tube or tubes.
  2. to convey or enclose in a tube.
  3. to form into the shape of a tube; make tubular.
  1. down the tube/tubes, Informal. into a ruined, wasted, or abandoned state or condition.

Origin of tube

First recorded in 1590–1600, tube is from the Latin word tubus pipe
Related formstube·less, adjectivetube·like, adjectivemul·ti·tube, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tube

Contemporary Examples of tube

Historical Examples of tube

  • "Good-morning," he said to the man who had instructed him concerning the Tube.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • There was a sneer on the monster as he pressed something on the tube.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • The Viceroy turned suddenly, stared at them, fingering his tube.

    Slaves of Mercury

    Nat Schachner

  • Ned closed his hand on the tube of the bazooka and it was so much old drainpipe.

    Arm of the Law

    Harry Harrison

  • There were only a Ruhmkorff coil and Crookes (vacuum) tube and the man himself.

British Dictionary definitions for tube


  1. a long hollow and typically cylindrical object, used for the passage of fluids or as a container
  2. a collapsible cylindrical container of soft metal or plastic closed with a cap, used to hold viscous liquids or pastes
  3. anatomy
    1. short for Eustachian tube, Fallopian tube
    2. any hollow cylindrical structure
  4. botany
    1. the lower part of a gamopetalous corolla or gamosepalous calyx, below the lobes
    2. any other hollow structure in a plant
  5. the tube British
    1. Also called: the undergroundan underground railway systemUS and Canadian equivalent: subway
    2. the tunnels through which the railway runs
    3. the train itself
    4. (capital) trademarkthe London underground railway system
  6. electronics
    1. another name for valve (def. 3)
    2. See electron tube, cathode-ray tube, television tube
  7. the tube slang a television set
  8. British slang a stupid or despicable person
  9. Australian slang a bottle or can of beer
  10. surfing the cylindrical passage formed when a wave breaks and the crest tips forward
  11. an archaic word for telescope
verb (tr)
  1. to fit or supply with a tube or tubes
  2. to carry or convey in a tube
  3. to shape like a tube
Derived Formstubeless, adjectivetube-like, adjective

Word Origin for tube

C17: from Latin tubus
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 tube

1610s, from Middle French tube (mid-15c.), from Latin tubus "tube, pipe," of unknown origin. The London subway was christened the Twopenny Tube before it even opened (H.D. Browne, in the "Londoner" of June 30, 1900); tube for "cylindrical railway tunnel" is attested from 1847. The meaning "TV as a medium" is from 1959, short for cathode ray tube or picture tube. Tube top as a women's clothing style is attested from 1972. Tube steak is attested from 1963 as "frankfurter," slang meaning "penis" is recorded by mid-1980s. Tubing as a recreational pastime is recorded from 1975.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tube in Medicine


  1. A hollow cylinder, especially one that conveys a fluid or functions as a passage.
  2. An anatomical structure or organ having the shape or function of a tube; a duct.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with tube


see down the tubes.

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