tu·​bule | \ ˈtü-(ˌ)byül How to pronounce tubule (audio) , ˈtyü- \

Definition of tubule

: a small tube especially : a slender elongated anatomical channel

Examples of tubule in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to the National Cancer Insitute, renal cell cancer occurs when cancer cells are found in the lining of the tubules in the kidney. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Hallmark Channel Host Cameron Mathison Reveals He Has Kidney Cancer: 'Feeling Very Optimistic'," 10 Sep. 2019 This may eventually compromise the underlying dentin, which is a tissue containing hollow canals called tubules. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Reasons Your Teeth Are So Agonizingly Sensitive," 18 Apr. 2018 This can aggravate the tubules in your dentin, causing sensitivity, Dr. Wolff says. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Reasons Your Teeth Are So Agonizingly Sensitive," 18 Apr. 2018 When food is nearby, the plasmodium forms a network of slender tubules that branch out in search of it, eventually finding the optimal path. Eoin O'carroll, The Christian Science Monitor, "What slime molds can teach us about thinking," 12 Apr. 2018 Another project replaces the giant carbon-containment vessels for natural-gas storage with an intestine of tiny plastic tubules, allowing natural-gas tanks to fit any arbitrary shape as well as reducing the risk of catastrophic rupture. Tim O'reilly, The Atlantic, "What Will Our Lives Be Like as Cyborgs?," 27 Oct. 2017 Old baleen splits like fingernails, which reveals its structure: each curved plate is two flat keratin layers with rows of tubules, like miniature coils of tightly rolled luncheon meat, sandwiched between. Jennifer S. Holland, Smithsonian, "A Whale’s Baleen Bristles Reveal the Story of Its Life," 1 Sep. 2017 But for some reason, the tubules themselves have been lost to evolutionary history. National Geographic, "5 Times Evolution Ran in ‘Reverse’," 6 Oct. 2016 A tubule connected to the stylet acts as a tow line, which the predatory cell uses to draw the prey cell close enough to strike—at which point the predatory cell actually unzips its own cell membrane to engulf the prey cell. Rachel Brown, National Geographic, "‘Gatling Gun’ Plankton Reveals Violent Microbial World," 5 Apr. 2017

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

1677, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tubule

Latin tubulus, diminutive of tubus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tubule

Time Traveler for tubule

Time Traveler

The first known use of tubule was in 1677

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tubule

Cite this Entry

“Tubule.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tubule. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tubule


tu·​bule | \ ˈt(y)ü-(ˌ)byü(ə)l How to pronounce tubule (audio) \

Medical Definition of tubule

: a small tube especially : a slender elongated anatomical channel

More from Merriam-Webster on tubule

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tubule

Comments on tubule

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

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


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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