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test tube

a hollow cylinder of thin glass with one end closed, used in chemical and biological experimentation and analysis.
Origin of test tube


[test-toob, -tyoob] /ˈtɛstˌtub, -ˌtyub/
produced in or as if in a test tube; synthetic or experimental.
1885-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for test-tube
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If either of these two kinds of hyposulphite be made93 in a test-tube, we can readily simulate the effect of atmospheric exposure.

  • I top the test-tube with another tube, the width of the neck of a claret bottle.

    The Life of the Fly J. Henri Fabre
  • But suddenly, in the privacy of his laboratory, a single fact arises from the test-tube in his trembling hand and confronts him!

    The Darrow Enigma Melvin L. Severy
  • With a dropper he sucked up a bit of the liquid from the test-tube.

    The Social Gangster Arthur B. Reeve
  • The battle between his life and a few drops of liquid in a test-tube has been mercilessly fought, and he has lost!

    The Darrow Enigma Melvin L. Severy
  • In other words, he has not rendered them in terms of the test-tube.

  • Plug the open end of the glass tubing with cotton-wool, and sterilise the test-tube and its contents in the hot-air oven.

  • The doctor was fumbling with a test-tube, from which some heavy fumes were issuing.

    The Master Mystery Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey
British Dictionary definitions for test-tube

test tube

a cylindrical round-bottomed glass tube open at one end: used in scientific experiments
(modifier) made synthetically in, or as if in, a test tube: a test-tube product
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 test-tube

1809, from test (n.) + tube (n.). So called because it originally was used to test the properties of liquids. Test-tube baby is recorded from 1935.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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test-tube in Medicine

test-tube adj.

  1. Produced or cultivated in a test tube.

  2. Conceived by or developed from fertilization in laboratory apparatus or by artificial insemination.

test tube n.
A clear, cylindrical glass tube usually open at one end and rounded at the other, used in laboratory experimentation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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test-tube in Science
test tube
A cylindrical tube of clear glass, usually open at one end and rounded at the other, used as a container for small amounts of a substance in laboratory tests and experiments.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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