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
A pipe had burst in the kitchen and flooded the floor.
⇨ ↑ drainpipe , ↑ windpipe , ⇨ exhaust pipe at ↑ exhaust 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.
3 . MUSIC
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)
▪ 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!’