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plumbing

[pluhm-ing] /ˈplʌm ɪŋ/
noun
1.
the system of pipes and other apparatus for conveying water, liquid wastes, etc., as in a building.
2.
the work or trade of a plumber.
3.
act of a person who plumbs, as in ascertaining depth.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70; plumb + -ing1

plumb

[pluhm] /plʌm/
noun
1.
a small mass of lead or other heavy material, as that suspended by a line and used to measure the depth of water or to ascertain a vertical line.
Compare plumb line.
adjective, Also, plum.
2.
true according to a plumb line perpendicular.
3.
Informal. downright or absolute.
adverb, Also, plum.
4.
in a perpendicular or vertical direction.
5.
exactly, precisely, or directly.
6.
Informal. completely or absolutely:
She was plumb mad. You're plumb right.
verb (used with object)
7.
to test or adjust by a plumb line.
8.
to make vertical.
9.
Shipbuilding. horn (def 31).
10.
to sound with or as with a plumb line.
11.
to measure (depth) by sounding.
12.
to examine closely in order to discover or understand:
to plumb someone's thoughts.
13.
to seal with lead.
14.
to weight with lead.
15.
to provide (a house, building, apartment, etc.) with plumbing.
verb (used without object)
16.
to work as a plumber.
Idioms
17.
out of / off plumb, not corresponding to the perpendicular; out of true.
Origin
1250-1300; Middle English plumbe, probably < Anglo-French *plombe < Vulgar Latin *plumba, for Latin plumbum lead
Related forms
plumbable, adjective
plumbless, adjective
plumbness, noun
replumb, verb (used with object)
unplumb, adjective
Can be confused
plum, plumb.
Synonyms
2. vertical, straight, square.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for plumbing
  • The houses were thoroughly refitted with proper plumbing.
  • Then the plumbing and electrical foreman come in and mark their details, followed by the drywallers, siding and painters.
  • Studying literature doesn't guarantee moral improvement any more than studying chemistry, economics, or plumbing does.
  • Some creative plumbing and the right diet might solve a few space travel issues.
  • There are no alternate theories of plumbing or cheese making.
  • Until recently, cardiologists approached heart disease as a plumbing problem.
  • Now, along with a new school and improved health care, everyone has indoor plumbing.
  • The ice sheet's deep plumbing is still mysterious, but its effects are clearer than ever.
  • Economists could afford to do that for a long time because the plumbing didn't back up.
  • Plus, the plumbing and electric broke fairly regularly.
British Dictionary definitions for plumbing

plumbing

/ˈplʌmɪŋ/
noun
1.
Also called plumbery. the trade or work of a plumber
2.
the pipes, fixtures, etc, used in a water, drainage, or gas installation
3.
the act or procedure of using a plumb to gauge depth, a vertical, etc

plumb

/plʌm/
noun
1.
a weight, usually of lead, suspended at the end of a line and used to determine water depth or verticality
2.
the perpendicular position of a freely suspended plumb line (esp in the phrases out of plumb, off plumb)
adjective
3.
(prenominal) (informal, mainly US) (intensifier): a plumb nuisance
adverb
4.
in a vertical or perpendicular line
5.
(informal, mainly US) (intensifier): plumb stupid
6.
(informal) exactly; precisely (also in the phrase plumb on)
verb
7.
(transitive) often foll by up. to test the alignment of or adjust to the vertical with a plumb line
8.
(transitive) to undergo or experience (the worst extremes of misery, sadness, etc): to plumb the depths of despair
9.
(transitive) to understand or master (something obscure): to plumb a mystery
10.
to connect or join (a device such as a tap) to a water pipe or drainage system
Derived Forms
plumbable, adjective
Word Origin
C13: from Old French plomb (unattested) lead line, from Old French plon lead, from Latin plumbum lead
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for plumbing
n.

mid-15c., "the weighting of a fishing line," verbal noun from plumb (v.). Specific meaning "water and drainage pipes" is recorded by 1875, American English.

THE apparatus by which the water from a reservoir is carried about over a building and delivered at points convenient for use, is called by the general name of plumbing. The word "plumbing" means lead-work; and it is used to signify this water apparatus of a house because the pipes of which it largely consists are usually made of lead. [Edward Abbott, "Long Look House: A Book for Boys and Girls," Boston, 1877]
Alternative plumbery also is mid-15c. Slang meaning "a person's reproductive organs" attested by 1975.

plumb

n.

"lead hung on a string to show the vertical line," early 14c., from Old French *plombe, plomee "sounding lead," and directly from Late Latin *plumba, originally plural of Latin plumbum "lead (the metal), lead ball; pipe; pencil," a word of unknown origin, related to Greek molybdos "lead" (dialectal bolimos) and perhaps from an extinct Mediterranean language, perhaps Iberian.

v.

early 15c., "to sink" (like lead), from plumb (n.). Meaning "take soundings with a plumb" is first recorded 1560s; figurative sense of "to get to the bottom of" is from 1590s. Related: Plumbed; plumbing.

adj.

"perpendicular, vertical," mid-15c., from plumb (n.). The notion of "exact measurement" led to extended sense of "completely, downright" (1748), sometimes spelled plump, plum, or plunk.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for plumbing

plumbing

noun
  1. A trumpet (1930+ Jazz musicians)
  2. The digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems and organs (1950s+)

plumb

adverb

Completely; entirely; stone: What he said was plumb silly

[1748+; fr notions of exact extent and precision associated with the plumb bob or sailor's plumb line (for measuring depth of water), ultimately fr Latin plumbum, ''lead'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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plumbing in Technology


(Unix) Term used for shell code, so called because of the prevalence of "pipelines" that feed the output of one program to the input of another. Under Unix, user utilities can often be implemented or at least prototyped by a suitable collection of pipelines and temporary file grinding encapsulated in a shell script. This is much less effort than writing C every time, and the capability is considered one of Unix's major winning features. A few other operating systems such as IBM's VM/CMS support similar facilities.
The tee utility is specifically designed for plumbing.
[Jargon File]
(1995-02-23)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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