the system of pipes and other apparatus for conveying water, liquid wastes, etc., as in a building.
the work or trade of a plumber.
act of a person who plumbs, as in ascertaining depth.

1660–70; plumb + -ing1 Unabridged


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.
true according to a plumb line; perpendicular.
Informal. downright or absolute.
adverb Also, plum.
in a perpendicular or vertical direction.
exactly, precisely, or directly.
Informal. completely or absolutely: She was plumb mad. You're plumb right.
verb (used with object)
to test or adjust by a plumb line.
to make vertical.
Shipbuilding. horn ( def 31 ).
to sound with or as with a plumb line.
to measure (depth) by sounding.
to examine closely in order to discover or understand: to plumb someone's thoughts.
to seal with lead.
to weight with lead.
to provide (a house, building, apartment, etc.) with plumbing.
verb (used without object)
to work as a plumber.
out of/off plumb, not corresponding to the perpendicular; out of true.

1250–1300; Middle English plumbe, probably < Anglo-French *plombe < Vulgar Latin *plumba, for Latin plumbum lead

plumbable, adjective
plumbless, adjective
plumbness, noun
replumb, verb (used with object)
unplumb, adjective

plum, plumb.

2. vertical, straight, square. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To plumbing
World English Dictionary
plumb (plʌm)
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)
3.  informal chiefly (US) (prenominal) (intensifier): a plumb nuisance
4.  in a vertical or perpendicular line
5.  informal chiefly (US) (intensifier): plumb stupid
6.  informal exactly; precisely (also in the phrase plumb on)
vb (often foll by up)
7.  to test the alignment of or adjust to the vertical with a plumb line
8.  (tr) to undergo or experience (the worst extremes of misery, sadness, etc): to plumb the depths of despair
9.  (tr) 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
[C13: from Old French plomb (unattested) lead line, from Old French plon lead, from Latin plumbum lead]

plumbing (ˈplʌmɪŋ)
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1300, "lead hung on a string to show the vertical line," from O.Fr. *plombe, plomme "sounding lead," from L.L. *plumba, originally pl. of L. plumbum "lead," the metal, of unknown origin, related to Gk. molybdos "lead" (dial. bolimos), probably from an extinct Mediterranean language, perhaps Iberian.
The verb is first recorded c.1380, with sense "to immerse;" meaning "take soundings with a plumb" is first recorded 1568; fig. sense of "to get to the bottom of" is from 1599. Plumb-bob is from 1835. Adj. sense of "perpendicular, vertical" is from c.1460; the notion of "exact measurement" led to extended sense of "completely, downright" (1748), sometimes spelled plump or plunk.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Computing Dictionary

plumbing definition

(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]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source
Example sentences
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.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature