vacuum tube


Definition of vacuum tube 

: an electron tube evacuated to a high degree of vacuum

Examples of vacuum tube in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Clearly the transistor was better than the vacuum tube. Phil Lapsley, WSJ, "‘The Cryotron Files’ Review: Taking the Cold War to Subzero," 11 Oct. 2018 Hyperloop relies on vacuum tubes and special pods for faster-than-flight travel speeds, at times estimated at around 670 mph. Dug Begley, Houston Chronicle, "Hyperloop's first step bypasses Houston," 11 July 2018 According to a press release describing the research, the team mimicked the formation of aliphatic carbon in interstellar space in the lab, expanding a carbon-containing plasma inside a vacuum tube at low temperature. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Our Galaxy Is Really Greasy and Smells Like Moth Balls," 28 June 2018 In 1961, Wortell borrowed $4,000 to buy a machine that bends metal for vacuum tubes holders. Brian Cox,, "Longtime Wilmette man celebrates 100th birthday," 12 June 2018 The blood passing through the tiny and large veins — wires and cables — was really a stream of data feeding the vacuum tubes. K. Eddie Mehrfar,, "Facebook debacle illustrates man’s continued acquiescence to technology," 23 Apr. 2018 That's not surprising for a vehicle designed to zoom through sealed vacuum tubes at speeds approaching 700 mph. David Freeman /, NBC News, "New hyperloop photos show capsule's sleek, windowless interior," 20 May 2018 To start, a real-world Hyperloop system would require a large network of vacuum tubes. Alice Bonasio, Ars Technica, "Is it time to take the Hyperloop seriously?," 4 Mar. 2018 Elon Musk first proposed the idea of high-speed travel through vacuum tubes in a 2013 white paper. David Freeman /, NBC News, "New hyperloop photos show capsule's sleek, windowless interior," 20 May 2018

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

1859, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vacuum tube

Share vacuum tube

Statistics for vacuum tube

Last Updated

15 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vacuum tube

The first known use of vacuum tube was in 1859

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vacuum tube

vacuum tube


English Language Learners Definition of vacuum tube

: a glass tube that was used in the past in computers, televisions, etc., to control the flow of electricity

vacuum tube


Medical Definition of vacuum tube 

: an electronic device in which conduction by electrons takes place through a vacuum within a sealed glass or metal container and which has various uses based on the controlled flow of electrons

More from Merriam-Webster on vacuum tube Encyclopedia article about vacuum tube

Comments on vacuum tube

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


by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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