\ˈtüb, ˈtyüb\

Definition of tube 

1 : any of various usually cylindrical structures or devices: such as

a : a hollow elongated cylinder especially : one to convey fluids

b : a soft tubular container whose contents (such as toothpaste) can be removed by squeezing

c(1) : tunnel

(2) British : subway sense b

d : the basically cylindrical section between the mouthpiece and bell that is the fundamental part of a wind instrument

2a : a slender channel (such as a fallopian tube or a pollen tube) within a plant or animal body : duct

b : the narrow basal portion of a corolla with united petals or a calyx with united sepals

4a : electron tube especially : vacuum tube

b : cathode-ray tube especially : a television picture tube

c : television

5 : an article of clothing shaped like a tube a tube top tube socks

down the tube or down the tubes

: into a state of collapse or deterioration

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Other Words from tube

tubed \ˈtübd, ˈtyübd \ adjective
tubelike \ˈtüb-ˌlīk, ˈtyüb- \ adjective

Examples of tube in a Sentence

She was breathing oxygen through a tube. watched the liquid move through the tube between the flasks and recorded the movement in his chemistry notebook

Recent Examples on the Web

The Chicago Tribune reported that the Kevin’s mother, Irma Burrage, was told by doctors that her son has fractured ribs and is breathing through a tube. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "Chicago Police Officer Shot and Seriously Injured a Teen," 3 July 2018 The one-time treatment is dripped directly into the brain through a thin tube. Marilynn Marchione, The Seattle Times, "Enemy turned ally: Poliovirus is used to fight brain tumors," 26 June 2018 The one-time treatment is dripped directly into the brain through a thin tube. Marilynn Marchione,, "Enemy turned ally: How poliovirus is used to fight brain tumors," 26 June 2018 The treatment is dripped directly into the brain through a thin tube. Washington Post, "Enemy turned ally: Poliovirus is used to fight brain tumors," 26 June 2018 Photo: Aubrie Pick Once an order is placed, air pressure pushes a brioche roll from La Boulangerie, a local bakery, through a tube. Larissa Zimberoff, WSJ, "A Burger Joint Where Robots Make Your Food," 21 June 2018 But not before staying in the hospital for four more weeks, to receive antibiotics through a slender tube inserted into her chest. Tom Hallman Jr.,, "The meaning of a mother's love through a doctor's diary: Tom Hallman," 12 May 2018 The perfect merging of BIG’s concerns with those of Silicon Valley might be its designs for the Hyperloop—a hypothetical transportation method that involves carriages speeding through a low-pressure tube. Kyle Chayka, The New Republic, "From architect to tastemaker, Bjarke Ingels is designing the future.," 2 May 2018 Another protocol involves inserting the material into the gut through a nasogastric tube, and one company offers an oral fecal transplant capsule. Kim Campbell Thornton, sacbee, "‘Re-poopulation’ could become a valuable tool in animal care | The Sacramento Bee," 25 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tube.' 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 tube

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tube

French, from Latin tubus; akin to Latin tuba trumpet

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Phrases Related to tube

go down the tubes

the tube

tube sock

tube top

Statistics for tube

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tube

The first known use of tube was in 1651

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More Definitions for tube



English Language Learners Definition of tube

: a long, hollow object that is used especially to control the flow of a liquid or gas

: an object shaped like a pipe

: a soft, long, narrow container that has a small opening at one end and that contains a soft material which can be pushed out by squeezing


\ˈtüb, ˈtyüb\

Kids Definition of tube

1 : a long hollow cylinder used especially to carry fluids

2 : a long soft container whose contents (as toothpaste or glue) can be removed by squeezing

3 : a slender channel within a plant or animal body : duct

4 : a hollow cylinder of rubber inside a tire to hold air

Other Words from tube

tubelike \ˈtüb-ˌlīk, ˈtyüb- \ adjective


\ˈt(y)üb \

Medical Definition of tube 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a slender channel within a plant or animal body : duct — see bronchial tube, eustachian tube, fallopian tube

2a : an often complex piece of laboratory or technical apparatus usually of glass and commonly serving to isolate or convey a product of reaction a distillation tube

b : test tube

3 : a soft tubular container whose contents (as toothpaste) can be dispensed by squeezing

4 : a hollow cylindrical device (as a cannula) used for insertion into bodily passages or hollow organs for removal or injection of materials

tubed; tubing

Medical Definition of tube (Entry 2 of 2)

: to furnish with, enclose in, or pass through a tube the patient is then anesthetized…and tubedAnesthesia Digest

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