Meaning of PIPE in English

I. pipe 1 S2 W3 /paɪp/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: pipa , from Vulgar Latin , from Latin pipare 'to make a high sound' ]

1 . TUBE a tube through which a liquid or gas flows:

a water pipe

a frozen waste pipe

copper pipes

A pipe had burst in the kitchen and flooded the floor.

⇨ ↑ drainpipe , ↑ windpipe , ⇨ exhaust pipe at ↑ exhaust 2 (2)

2 .

FOR SMOKING a thing used for smoking tobacco, consisting of a small tube with a container shaped like a bowl at one end:

Dad was there, smoking his pipe.

pipe tobacco


a) a simple musical instrument like a tube, that you play by blowing ⇨ ↑ panpipes

b) one of the metal tubes that air passes through when you play an ↑ organ

c) the pipes ↑ bagpipes

4 . pipe dream a hope, idea, plan etc that is impossible or will probably never happen:

In many parts of the country, democratic elections are simply a pipe dream.

5 . put/stick that in your pipe and smoke it spoken used to say that someone must accept what you have just said, even though they do not like it

• • •


■ NOUN + pipe

▪ a water pipe

Be careful to avoid piercing any water pipes or electricity cables.

▪ a gas pipe

▪ a waste pipe

What’s the best way to clear a blocked waste pipe?

▪ a sewer/sewage pipe (=for removing waste from the human body)

■ verbs

▪ lay a pipe

They were digging a trench to lay water pipes.

▪ block a pipe

It is likely that fat or grease is blocking the waste pipe.

▪ a pipe leaks

He complained that a water pipe was leaking in his hotel room.

▪ a pipe freezes

That winter was so cold that the pipes froze and we had no water.

▪ a pipe bursts

A burst pipe can cause major structural damage quite quickly.

II. pipe 2 BrE AmE verb

1 . SEND LIQUID/GAS [transitive usually passive] to send a liquid or gas through a pipe to another place

pipe something into/from/out of etc something

Eighty per cent of sewage is piped directly into the sea.

pipe something in/out/up etc

A lot of oil is piped in from Alaska.

villages with no piped water

2 . MAKE MUSIC [intransitive and transitive] to make a musical sound, using a pipe

3 . FOOD [transitive] to decorate food, especially a cake, with lines of ↑ icing or cream

4 . SPEAK [transitive] literary to speak or sing something in a high voice:

‘Morning!’ he piped with a cheery voice.

pipe down phrasal verb spoken

to stop talking or making a noise, and become calmer and less excited:

Everybody pipe down. There’s no need to shout.

pipe something ↔ in ( also pipe something into something ) phrasal verb

to send radio signals or recorded music into a room or building:

tunes piped in over an acoustic system

pipe up phrasal verb informal

to suddenly say something, especially when you have been quiet until then:

Mum suddenly piped up ‘No!’

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.