- 1 [countable] a long hollow pipe made of metal, plastic, rubber, etc., through which liquids or gases move from one place to another see also cathode ray tube, inner tube, test tube
- 2 [countable] a hollow object in the shape of a pipe or tube a bike’s inner tube the cardboard tube from the centre of a toilet roll container
- 3 [countable] tube (of something) a long narrow container made of soft metal or plastic, with a lid, used for holding thick liquids that can be squeezed out of it a tube of toothpaste
- 4(Australian English, informal) a can of beer a tube of lager part of body
- 5 [countable] a part inside the body that is shaped like a tube and through which air, liquid, etc. passes bronchial tubes The oesophagus is the tube leading from the throat to the stomach. see also fallopian tube underground railway
- 6(also The Tube™) [singular] (British English) the underground railway system in London a tube station/train We came by tube. She caught the wrong tube (= tube train). British/Americanunderground / subway / metro / tube A city’s underground railway/railroad system is usually called the underground (often the Underground) in British English and the subway in North American English. Speakers of British English also use subway for systems in American cities and metro for systems in other European countries. The Metro is the name for the systems in Paris and Washington, D.C. London’s system is often called the Tube. See related entries: Trains television
- 7the tube [singular] (North American English, informal) the television See related entries: Watching TV in ear
- 8(North American English) (British English grommet) [countable] a small tube placed in a child’s ear in order to drain liquid from it Word Origin mid 17th cent.: from French tube or Latin tubus.Extra examples I bumped into him on the tube. I go to work by tube. I had to cram myself into a packed tube carriage. I often travel by tube I often travel on the tube I put the poster back into its tube. She poured the liquid down the tube. a tube of glue my tube journey to work He had to be fed through a feeding tube for several months. The bike’s inner tube was punctured in several places. The documents were rolled up in a cardboard tube.Idioms (informal) (of a plan, company, situation, etc.) to fail The education system is going down the tubes.