Difference Between
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Pipe vs. Tube: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Pipes are typically used for transporting fluids or gases and are measured by their internal diameter, whereas tubes are often used in structural applications and are measured by their outside diameter.
Pipe vs. Tube

Key Differences

Pipes are primarily used for transporting liquids and gases. Their design focuses on the internal diameter (ID) because it determines the flow capacity. On the other hand, tubes are used in structural applications, like in construction and manufacturing. Tubes are measured by their outside diameter (OD), which is crucial for ensuring strength and stability in their applications.
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Nov 16, 2023
The material thickness in pipes, known as the schedule, is important for determining the pressure rating. Pipes usually have thicker walls compared to tubes of the same diameter, enhancing their ability to handle high-pressure applications. Tubes, however, have a consistent wall thickness and are often selected based on their dimensional accuracy and strength, making them ideal for precision applications.
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Pipes are often joined through fittings and are a key component in various plumbing and infrastructure systems. They are generally more flexible in terms of sizes and materials. Tubes, in contrast, are used in applications where precise dimensions and tolerances are critical, like in automotive or aerospace manufacturing, and often require more specialized joining methods like welding.
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Nov 16, 2023
The manufacturing process for pipes and tubes also differs. Pipes are usually made using a process that ensures reliability in carrying fluids under pressure. Tubes, however, require more rigorous manufacturing processes to achieve the precision needed for their structural and mechanical applications.
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Nov 16, 2023
In terms of shape, pipes are generally round, but tubes can come in various shapes like square, rectangular, or custom profiles. This versatility makes tubes ideal for a wide range of structural applications, whereas pipes are mainly used for their functional purpose of conveying fluids.
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Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Transporting fluids and gases
Structural and mechanical applications
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Measurement Focus

Internal diameter (ID)
Outside diameter (OD)
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Wall Thickness

Thicker, varies with the schedule
Consistently uniform
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Material Variety

Wide range, flexible in material choice
More specific, often requires stronger metals
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Shape Variety

Generally round
Round, square, rectangular, custom shapes
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Manufacturing Process

Designed for pressure resistance
Precision-focused for structural strength
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Joining Methods

Uses fittings, more flexible
Often requires welding, precision joining
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Application in Industries

Plumbing, infrastructure, oil and gas
Construction, automotive, aerospace
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Tolerance and Precision

Less critical compared to tubes
Highly critical for specific applications
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Flexibility in Use

High, adaptable to various environments
Less, often tailored for specific purposes
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Pipe and Tube Definitions

Pipe

To convey a substance through a pipe.
They piped natural gas into the house.
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Tube

A long, hollow cylinder for conveying or containing something.
The paint comes in a tube.
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Pipe

To play music on a pipe instrument.
She piped a tune on her flute.
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Tube

A sealed container for ointments or creams.
She squeezed the last bit out of the toothpaste tube.
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Pipe

A narrow, tubular passage in a machine.
The steam pipe in the engine was leaking.
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Tube

A television or monitor, especially an older cathode-ray model.
They watched the game on an old tube TV.
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Pipe

A hollow cylinder or tube used to conduct a liquid, gas, or finely divided solid.
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Tube

A hollow cylinder, especially one that conveys a fluid or functions as a passage.
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Pipe

A section or piece of such a tube.
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Tube

An organic structure having the shape or function of a tube; a duct
A bronchial tube.
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Pipe

A device for smoking, consisting of a tube of wood, clay, or other material with a small bowl at one end.
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Tube

A small flexible cylindrical container sealed at one end and having a screw cap at the other, for pigments, toothpaste, or other pastelike substances.
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Pipe

An amount of smoking material, such as tobacco, needed to fill the bowl of a pipe; a pipeful.
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Tube

(Music) The cylindrical part of a wind instrument.
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Pipe

A tubular part or organ of the body.
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Tube

An electron tube.
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Pipe

Pipes The passages of the human respiratory system.
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Tube

A vacuum tube.
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Pipe

A large wine cask, especially one having a capacity of 126 gallons or 2 hogsheads (478 liters).
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Tube

(Botany) The lower, cylindrical part of a gamopetalous corolla or a gamosepalous calyx.
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Pipe

This volume as a unit of liquid measure.
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Tube

A tunnel.
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Pipe

A tubular wind instrument, such as a flute.
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Tube

An underground railroad system, especially the one in London, England.
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Pipe

Any of the tubes in an organ.
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Tube

The elongated space inside a wave when it is breaking.
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Pipe

Pipes A small wind instrument, consisting of tubes of different lengths bound together.
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Tube

An inner tube.
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Pipe

Pipes A bagpipe.
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Tube

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.
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Pipe

Pipes(Informal) The vocal cords; the voice, especially as used in singing.
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Tube

Television
What's on the tube?.
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Pipe

A birdcall.
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Tube

A television set.
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Pipe

(Nautical) A whistle used for signaling crew members
A boatswain's pipe.
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Tube

Tubes(Informal) The fallopian tubes.
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Pipe

A vertical cylindrical vein of ore.
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Tube

To provide with a tube; insert a tube in.
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Pipe

One of the vertical veins of eruptive origin in which diamonds are found in South Africa.
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Tube

To place in or enclose in a tube.
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Pipe

(Geology) An eruptive passageway opening into the crater of a volcano.
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Tube

To ride or float on an inflated tube for recreation.
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Pipe

(Metallurgy) A cone-shaped cavity in a steel ingot, formed during cooling by escaping gases.
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Tube

Anything that is hollow and cylindrical in shape.
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Pipe

To convey (liquid or gas) by means of pipes.
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Tube

An approximately cylindrical container, usually with a crimped end and a screw top, used to contain and dispense semiliquid substances.
A tube of toothpaste.
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Pipe

To convey as if by pipes, especially to transmit by wire or cable
Piped music into the store.
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Tube

The London Underground railway system, originally referred to the lower level lines that ran in tubular tunnels as opposed to the higher ones which ran in rectangular section tunnels. (Often the tube.)
I took the tube to Waterloo and walked the rest of the way.
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Pipe

To provide with pipes or connect with pipes.
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Tube

(obsolete) One of the tubular tunnels of the London Underground.
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Pipe

To play (a tune) on a pipe or pipes.
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Tube

A tin can containing beer.
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Pipe

To lead by playing on pipes.
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Tube

(surfing) A wave which pitches forward when breaking, creating a hollow space inside.
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Pipe

To signal (crew members) with a boatswain's pipe.
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Tube

A television. Compare cathode ray tube and picture tube.
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Pipe

To receive aboard or mark the departure of by sounding a boatswain's pipe.
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Tube

An idiot.
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Pipe

To utter in a shrill reedy tone.
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Tube

(transitive) To supply with, or enclose in, a tube.
She tubes lipstick in the cosmetics factory.
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Pipe

To furnish (a garment or fabric) with piping.
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Tube

To ride an inner tube.
They tubed down the Colorado River.
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Pipe

To force through a pastry tube, as frosting onto a cake.
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Tube

To intubate.
The patient was tubed.
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Pipe

(Slang) To take a look at; notice.
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Tube

A hollow cylinder, of any material, used for the conveyance of fluids, and for various other purposes; a pipe.
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Pipe

To play on a pipe.
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Tube

A telescope.
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Pipe

To speak shrilly; make a shrill sound.
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Tube

A vessel in animal bodies or plants, which conveys a fluid or other substance.
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Pipe

To chirp or whistle, as a bird does.
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Tube

The narrow, hollow part of a gamopetalous corolla.
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Pipe

(Nautical) To signal the crew with a boatswain's pipe.
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Tube

A priming tube, or friction primer. See under Priming, and Friction.
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Pipe

(Metallurgy) To develop conical cavities during solidification.
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Tube

A small pipe forming part of the boiler, containing water and surrounded by flame or hot gases, or else surrounded by water and forming a flue for the gases to pass through.
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Pipe

Meanings relating to a wind instrument.
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Tube

A more or less cylindrical, and often spiral, case secreted or constructed by many annelids, crustaceans, insects, and other animals, for protection or concealment. See Illust. of Tubeworm.
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Pipe

(musical instrument) A wind instrument consisting of a tube, often lined with holes to allow for adjustment in pitch, sounded by blowing into the tube.
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Tube

A tunnel for a tube railway; also (Colloq.), a tube railway; a subway.
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Pipe

(music) A tube used to produce sound in an organ; an organ pipe.
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Tube

To furnish with a tube; as, to tube a well.
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Pipe

The key or sound of the voice.
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Tube

Conduit consisting of a long hollow object (usually cylindrical) used to hold and conduct objects or liquids or gases
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Pipe

A high-pitched sound, especially of a bird.
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Tube

Electronic device consisting of a system of electrodes arranged in an evacuated glass or metal envelope
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Pipe

Meanings relating to a hollow conduit.
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Tube

A hollow cylindrical shape
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Pipe

A rigid tube that transports water, steam, or other fluid, as used in plumbing and numerous other applications.
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Tube

(anatomy) any hollow cylindrical body structure
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Pipe

A tubular passageway in the human body such as a blood vessel or the windpipe.
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Tube

Electric underground railway
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Pipe

(slang) A man's penis.
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Tube

Provide with a tube or insert a tube into
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Pipe

Meanings relating to a container.
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Tube

Convey in a tube;
Inside Paris, they used to tube mail
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Pipe

A large container for storing liquids or foodstuffs; now especially a vat or cask of cider or wine. (See a diagram comparing cask sizes.)
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Tube

Ride or float on an inflated tube;
We tubed down the river on a hot summer day
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Pipe

The contents of such a vessel, as a liquid measure, sometimes set at 126 wine gallons; half a tun.
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Tube

Place or enclose in a tube
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Pipe

Meanings relating to something resembling a tube.
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Tube

A subway or underground railway system.
He commutes daily on the London Tube.
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Pipe

Decorative edging stitched to the hems or seams of an object made of fabric (clothing, hats, curtains, pillows, etc.), often in a contrasting color; piping.
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Tube

A hollow, flexible structure in an organism.
The fallopian tubes are crucial for reproduction.
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Pipe

A type of pasta similar to macaroni.
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Pipe

(geology) A vertical conduit through the Earth's crust below a volcano through which magma has passed, often filled with volcanic breccia.
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Pipe

(lacrosse) One of the goalposts of the goal.
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Pipe

(mining) An elongated or irregular body or vein of ore.
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Pipe

An anonymous satire or essay, insulting and frequently libellous, written on a piece of paper which was rolled up and left somewhere public where it could be found and thus spread, to embarrass the author's enemies.
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Pipe

Meanings relating to computing.
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Pipe

(computing) A mechanism that enables one program to communicate with another by sending its output to the other as input.
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Pipe

A data backbone, or broadband Internet access.
A fat pipe is a high-bandwidth connection.
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Pipe

.
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Pipe

Meanings relating to a smoking implement.
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Pipe

(smoking) A hollow stem with a bowl at one end used for smoking, especially a tobacco pipe but also including various other forms such as a water pipe.
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Pipe

The distance travelled between two rest periods during which one could smoke a pipe.
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Pipe

(slang) A telephone.
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Pipe

(ambitransitive) To play (music) on a pipe instrument, such as a bagpipe or a flute.
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Pipe

(intransitive) To shout loudly and at high pitch.
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Pipe

(intransitive) To emit or have a shrill sound like that of a pipe; to whistle.
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Pipe

(intransitive) Of a queen bee: to make a high-pitched sound during certain stages of development.
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Pipe

Of a metal ingot: to become hollow in the process of solidifying.
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Pipe

(transitive) To convey or transport (something) by means of pipes.
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Pipe

(transitive) To install or configure with pipes.
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Pipe

(transitive) To dab moisture away from.
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Pipe

To lead or conduct as if by pipes, especially by wired transmission.
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Pipe

) at the command line.
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Pipe

To create or decorate with piping (icing).
To pipe flowers on to a cupcake
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Pipe

To order or signal by a note pattern on a boatswain's pipe.
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Pipe

To have sexual intercourse with a female.
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Pipe

To see.
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Pipe

To invent or embellish (a story).
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Pipe

A wind instrument of music, consisting of a tube or tubes of straw, reed, wood, or metal; any tube which produces musical sounds; as, a shepherd's pipe; the pipe of an organ.
Now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe.
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Pipe

Any long tube or hollow body of wood, metal, earthenware, or the like: especially, one used as a conductor of water, steam, gas, etc.
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Pipe

A small bowl with a hollow stem, - used in smoking tobacco, and, sometimes, other substances.
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Pipe

A passageway for the air in speaking and breathing; the windpipe, or one of its divisions.
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Pipe

The key or sound of the voice.
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Pipe

The peeping whistle, call, or note of a bird.
The earliest pipe of half-awakened birds.
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Pipe

The bagpipe; as, the pipes of Lucknow.
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Pipe

An elongated body or vein of ore.
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Pipe

A roll formerly used in the English exchequer, otherwise called the Great Roll, on which were taken down the accounts of debts to the king; - so called because put together like a pipe.
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Pipe

A boatswain's whistle, used to call the crew to their duties; also, the sound of it.
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Pipe

A cask usually containing two hogsheads, or 126 wine gallons; also, the quantity which it contains.
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Pipe

To play on a pipe, fife, flute, or other tubular wind instrument of music.
We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced.
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Pipe

To call, convey orders, etc., by means of signals on a pipe or whistle carried by a boatswain.
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Pipe

To emit or have a shrill sound like that of a pipe; to whistle.
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Pipe

To become hollow in the process of solodifying; - said of an ingot, as of steel.
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Pipe

To perform, as a tune, by playing on a pipe, flute, fife, etc.; to utter in the shrill tone of a pipe.
A robin . . . was piping a few querulous notes.
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Pipe

To call or direct, as a crew, by the boatswain's whistle.
As fine a ship's company as was ever piped aloft.
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Pipe

To furnish or equip with pipes; as, to pipe an engine, or a building.
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Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

A tube with a small bowl at one end; used for smoking tobacco
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

A long tube made of metal or plastic that is used to carry water or oil or gas etc.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

A hollow cylindrical shape
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

A tubular wind instrument
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

The flues and stops on a pipe organ
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

Utter a shrill cry
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

Transport by pipeline;
Pipe oil, water, and gas into the desert
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

Play on a pipe;
Pipe a tune
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

Trim with piping;
Pipe the skirt
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Pipe

A hollow cylinder for transporting liquids or gases.
The burst pipe flooded the basement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Pipe

A device used for smoking tobacco.
He relaxed in the evening with his favorite pipe.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What are the common uses of pipes?

Pipes are commonly used in plumbing, oil and gas transportation, and infrastructure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

How is pipe size measured?

Pipe size is measured based on its internal diameter (ID).
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

What is a pipe?

A pipe is a cylindrical hollow structure used for transporting liquids and gases.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

What is a tube?

A tube is a hollow, cylindrical structure, often used in structural and mechanical applications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

How is tube size measured?

Tube size is measured by its outside diameter (OD).
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

What materials are pipes made of?

Pipes are made from various materials like steel, copper, plastic, and more.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

What are tubes commonly used for?

Tubes are used in construction, automotive manufacturing, and aerospace industries.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Are tubes available in different shapes?

Yes, tubes can be round, square, rectangular, or custom-shaped.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Do pipes require high precision in manufacturing?

Precision is less critical for pipes compared to tubes, except in high-pressure applications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Is the term 'tube' used for electronic components?

Yes, 'tube' is used for electronic components like cathode-ray tubes in older TVs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Are tubes used in everyday consumer products?

Yes, tubes are used in products like bicycles, furniture, and appliances.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Is 'pipe' used in any musical context?

Yes, 'pipe' is used in the context of pipe organs and other wind instruments.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Can pipes have different shapes?

Pipes are generally round, but some special applications might use different shapes.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

How are pipes joined together?

Pipes are usually joined using fittings, welding, or threading.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

What materials are tubes made of?

Tubes are often made of metals like steel or aluminum, requiring structural strength.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Can pipes handle high pressure?

Yes, pipes, especially those with thick walls, can handle high pressure.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Are tubes suitable for high-stress applications?

Yes, tubes are designed to handle high stress in structural applications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

How are tubes joined?

Tubes are often joined through welding or precision fittings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Why is precision important in tube manufacturing?

Precision in tubes is important for structural integrity and specific applications.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Are pipes used in residential settings?

Yes, pipes are widely used in residential plumbing systems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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