pitot tube

noun, often capitalized P
pi·​tot tube | \ ˈpē-ˌtō- How to pronounce pitot tube (audio) \

Definition of pitot tube

1 : a device that consists of a tube having a short right-angled bend which is placed vertically in a moving body of fluid (such as air) with the mouth of the bent part directed upstream and that is used with a manometer to measure the velocity of fluid flow

Examples of pitot tube in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Problems with malfunctioning pitot tubes—airspeed sensors located under the noses of aircraft—have been well documented over the years and resulted in a number of high-profile passenger-aircraft accidents. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Airspeed Sensors Emerge as Initial Focus in Lion Air Crash," 30 Oct. 2018 The cause is the fact that the plane's pitot tubes, externally mounted sensors that determine air speed, have iced over, so the human pilots will now have to fly the plane by hand. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447," 6 Dec. 2011 Another of the pitot tubes begins to function once more. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447," 6 Dec. 2011 Ice accumulation can wreak havoc inside modern jet engines or on the tips of airspeed-measuring devices extending from the noses of jets, called pitot tubes. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Efforts to Tackle Icing Problems on Planes Face Setback," 2 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pitot tube.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of pitot tube

1852, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pitot tube

French (tube de) Pitot, from Henri Pitot †1771 French physicist

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pitot tube

Statistics for pitot tube

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pitot tube

The first known use of pitot tube was in 1852

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pitot tube

pitot tube

noun, often capitalized P
pi·​tot tube | \ ˌpē-ˌtō- How to pronounce pitot tube (audio) \

Medical Definition of pitot tube

: a device that consists of a tube having a short right-angled bend which is placed vertically in a moving body of fluid with the mouth of the bent part directed upstream and that is used with a manometer to measure the velocity of fluid flow (as in a blood vessel)

More from Merriam-Webster on pitot tube

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pitot tube

Comments on pitot tube

What made you want to look up pitot tube? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!