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vacuum tube

noun
1.
Also called, especially British, vacuum valve. an electron tube from which almost all air or gas has been evacuated: formerly used extensively in radio and electronics.
2.
a sealed glass tube with electrodes and a partial vacuum or a highly rarefied gas, used to observe the effects of a discharge of electricity passed through it.
Origin
1775-1785
1775-85
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for vacuum tubes

vacuum tube

noun
1.
another name for valve (sense 3)
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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vacuum tubes in Science
vacuum tube  
An electron tube from which all air has been removed. The vacuum ensures transparency inside the tube for electric fields and moving electrons. Most electron tubes are vacuum tubes; cathode-ray tubes, which include television picture tubes and other video display tubes, are the most widely used vacuum tubes. In other electronic applications, vacuum tubes have largely been replaced by transistors.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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