Slang dictionary

coming down the pike

[ kuhm-ing doun thuh payhk ]

What does coming down the pike mean?

Coming down the pike means going to happen or appear soon.

It can be applied to events and occurrences or to things. It’s especially used in cases in which such things are confidently expected or scheduled.

Example: We have several meetings coming down the pike.

Example: Spider-Man fans are celebrating Marvel’s announcement that there will be several new Spidey movies coming down the pike in the next few years.

Where does coming down the pike come from?

Coming down the pike is a form of the phrase come down the pike, which means “to appear” or “to happen,” usually (but not always) soon. The phrase coming down the pike has been used in the specific sense of “going to happen or appear in the near future” since at least the 1970s.

The pike in coming down the pike is short for turnpike, which is a kind of highway. The phrase likens an upcoming event to a car driving down the road.

Since some people are not be familiar with the terms pike or turnpike, the phrase is sometimes heard (and used) as coming down the pipe (suggesting the image of something moving through a pipe—not an illogical leap, given the phrase’s meaning and similar terms like pipeline).

Examples of coming down the pike

Felt good to write again. Got some good stuff coming down the pike soon. You're not going to want to miss it.
@TalkinWithFresh, August 18, 2018
Meanwhile, the ECB has remained steadfast in its dovishness in the face of spiking inflation, where other central banks have indicated that interest rate hikes are likely coming down the pike.
Elliot Smith, CNBC, November 23, 2021

Who uses coming down the pike?

Coming down the pike is informal and fairly common. It’s typically used in the context of something that’s expected to happen soon.



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This is not meant to be a formal definition of coming down the pike like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of coming down the pike that will help our users expand their word mastery.