General English

General Science

  • noun a hollow cylinder or tube down which a fluid or gas can flow


  • noun a symbol, usually (|), that tells the operating system to send the output of one command to another command, instead of displaying it


  • From ASTM B 251–557: Seamless tube conforming to the particular dimensions commonly know as "standard pipe size."


  • A hollow tube through which something passes. For example, a conduit via which cables are run.
  • A virtual conduit through which one section of memory can pass its output to another section of memory, which uses it as input. Also called pipeline (2).


  • verb to squeeze soft food mixture through a small tube, so as to make decorative shapes


  • noun a tube made of concrete, metal or plastic, which is used to convey gas or liquid


  • noun a gun. An item of street jargon used especially by adolescent criminals in the 1990s.
  • noun a telephone, particularly a mobile telephone, in the jargon of truck-drivers and rescue services
  • noun a very easy task, programme of study, etc. This usage is probably based on the earlier phrase ‘pipe course’, used on campuses to describe an undemanding study option. The relationship to the standard sense of the word is unclear.


  • a unit of liquid measure for wine, equal to four barrels, two hogsheads, or 105 gallons (about 478 litres)
  • a large container for wine

Origin & History of “pipe”

The etymological notion underlying pipe is of a ‘piping’ sound. The word goes back to a common romance *pīpa, a derivative of the Latin verb pīpāre ‘chirp’. this was formed from the base *pīp-, imitative of the sounds made by young birds, which also lies behind English pigeon. Prehistoric Germanic took over *pīpa, and it has since evolved to German pfeife, Dutch pijp, Swedish pipa, and English pipe. By the time it reached English it had broadened out semantically from its original ‘tubular wind instrument which makes a piping sound’ to ‘tube’ in general.