plumb·​ing | \ ˈplə-miŋ How to pronounce plumbing (audio) \

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 The Academy responded with a nomination but no award, but its vision of one disturbed man’s plumbing of the lower depths has proved enduring. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The Best Movies That Lost Best Picture at the Oscars," 27 Apr. 2021 During the 2003 outbreak of SARS, a cousin to SARS-CoV-2, the virus circulated through faulty plumbing in a Hong Kong apartment complex, infecting more than 300 residents and killing 33. Miranda Weiss, Smithsonian Magazine, "Sewage Has Stories to Tell. Why Won’t the U.S. Listen?," 26 Apr. 2021 Landlords can use SmartRent technology to operate and monitor thermostats, utilities, security and plumbing from a computer or smartphone. Peter Grant, WSJ, "SmartRent to Merge With Fifth Wall SPAC in $2.2 Billion Deal," 22 Apr. 2021 These warnings mean freezing temperatures are likely and could kill crops and sensitive plants while also possibly damaging outdoor plumbing, according to the National Weather Service. Jackson Dill And Judson Jones, CNN, "Over 70 million people are under freeze warnings as snow and severe storms track into Northeast," 21 Apr. 2021 One program piloted by the United Way for Greater Austin gives parents free tuition and a stipend to train for a skilled trade, such as plumbing or a health care job, like EKG technician. NBC News, "'Two-generation' programs aim to break the cycle of poverty. The pandemic was a big test.," 18 Apr. 2021 The great majority of earthquake shacks were 10 by 14 feet, or 14 by 18 feet, with a stove but no kitchen or plumbing. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Franciscans still live in 1906 earthquake shacks. Here’s why they matter more than ever," 17 Apr. 2021 The building’s plumbing was put to the test when a drain above an eighth-floor courtroom became clogged. Los Angeles Times, "Today’s Headlines: Biden tries to reset the climate on climate change," 15 Apr. 2021 The family’s barren square structure had no plumbing. Washington Post, "A story of slavery — and space," 26 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for plumbing

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for plumbing

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plumbing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce plumbing (audio) \

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

Comments on plumbing

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