plumb·ing | \ˈplə-miŋ \

Definition of plumbing 

1 : the act of using a plumb

2 : a plumber's occupation or trade

3a : the apparatus (such as pipes and fixtures) concerned in the distribution and use of water in a building

b : an internal system that resembles plumbing especially : one consisting of conduits or channels for conveying fluids

Examples of plumbing in a Sentence

The house has old plumbing.

Recent Examples on the Web

Before vaccines, better sanitation and indoor plumbing, the root causes of such waves of illness and death were mainly biological: viruses, bacteria and parasites. Mariette Dichristina, Scientific American, "Our Planet, Ourselves: How Climate Change Results in Emerging Diseases," 1 May 2018 Fairbanks has the highest percentage in the state of people who pay more than one-third of their income toward housing, and cabins without indoor plumbing or running water are common. Devin Kelly, Anchorage Daily News, "Little progress on overcrowding, affordability or quality in Alaska housing, says report," 1 Feb. 2018 Indoor plumbing was a big plus, as was a furnace and gas-light fixtures. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Country Living, "Ladies' Home Journal Predicted America's Future Obsession with Real-Estate Reality TV In 1903," 14 July 2016 Food This one might surprise you, because human waste is basically just broken-down food anyway, but flushing food that hasn't been digested can cause problems for your plumbing, too. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "16 Things You Should Never Flush Down The Toilet," 29 June 2018 His town, in his memory full of squat buildings with limited plumbing and electricity, now has fine restaurants and tall buildings and the most modern technology in the world. USA TODAY, "Olympics are a chance to go home again for Korean-American," 13 Feb. 2018 Outside on the double lot is room for gardens and more, and there’s even a detached studio with plumbing and electricity out back. Lauren Ro, Curbed, "Sweet 1920s bungalow wants $725K," 11 Apr. 2018 An overhaul of the DeKalb County Jail to fix issues with leaky plumbing and mold was announced by Sheriff Jeffrey Mann today. Ajc Homepage, ajc, "After mold discovery, fixes coming to DeKalb jail," 5 Apr. 2018 Regulators check on safety equipment, plumbing and chemical levels. Glenn Howatt,, "Swimming pools, hot tubs are more likely than lakes to make you sick, studies find," 11 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of plumbing

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to plumbing

indoor plumbing

plumbing fixture

Statistics for plumbing

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plumbing

The first known use of plumbing was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for plumbing



English Language Learners Definition of plumbing

: a system of pipes that carries water through a building

: the work of a plumber : the job of installing and repairing sinks, toilets, water pipes, etc.


plumb·ing | \ˈplə-miŋ \

Kids Definition of plumbing

1 : a system of pipes and fixtures for supplying and carrying off water in a building

2 : the installation or repair of part or all of such a system of pipes and fixtures

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