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 In an age of bulky and power-hungry vacuum tubes, the U.S. military and American industry searched desperately for some way to speed up and shrink computers for defense and commercial applications. Phil Lapsley, WSJ, "‘The Cryotron Files’ Review: Taking the Cold War to Subzero," 11 Oct. 2018 In addition to the cars, tunnels, and vacuum tubes, the serial entrepreneur also has a company which works on brain-machine interfaces (BMI) called Neuralink. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Elon Musk wants to put an AI interface in your brain. Should you be worried?," 21 July 2019 The amps most coveted by guitarists do this with vacuum tubes. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "What a Fender Amp Looks Like When You Tear It Apart," 24 Mar. 2015 And that posed a fresh challenge, since the tapes were analog and could only be played on a device called a SoundScriber that used old vacuum tube technology. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Behind-the-scenes audio from Apollo 11 mission made public for first time," 12 Nov. 2018 And a vacuum tube RCA Victor TV, hidden behind the double doors of a mahogany cabinet. Michelle Slatalla, WSJ, "Why You Should Redecorate Until You Kick the Bucket," 12 Nov. 2018 The Siphon Coffee Brewer is based on a vacuum tube style of making coffee first introduced in 1830. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "This Retro Coffee Maker Brews a Pot With Vacuum Power," 17 Mar. 2015 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

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

Statistics for vacuum tube

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

US : 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).


strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!