tube (tb, tyb)
a. A hollow cylinder, especially one that conveys a fluid or functions as a passage.
b. An organic structure having the shape or function of a tube; a duct: a bronchial tube.
2. A small flexible cylindrical container sealed at one end and having a screw cap at the other, for pigments, toothpaste, or other pastelike substances.
3. Music The cylindrical part of a wind instrument.
a. An electron tube.
b. A vacuum tube.
5. Botany The lower, cylindrical part of a gamopetalous corolla or a gamosepalous calyx.
a. A tunnel.
b. An underground railroad system, especially the one in London, England.
7. The elongated space inside a wave when it is breaking.
a. An inner tube.
b. An inflatable tube or cushion made of rubber or plastic and used for recreational riding, as behind a motor boat or down a snow-covered slope.
a. Television: What's on the tube?
b. A television set.
10. tubes Informal The fallopian tubes.
v. tubed, tub·ing, tubes
1. To provide with a tube; insert a tube in.
2. To place in or enclose in a tube.
To ride or float on an inflated tube for recreation.
down the tubes/tube Slang
Into a state of failure or ruin: saw her plans go down the tubes.
[French, from Old French, from Latin tubus.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.