in the pipe line


  1. a long tubular conduit or series of pipes, often underground, with pumps and valves for flow control, used to transport crude oil, natural gas, water, etc., especially over great distances.
  2. a route, channel, or process along which something passes or is provided at a steady rate; means, system, or flow of supply or supplies: Freighters and cargo planes are a pipeline for overseas goods.
  3. a channel of information, especially one that is direct, privileged, or confidential; inside source; reliable contact.

verb (used with object), pipe·lined, pipe·lin·ing.

  1. to convey by or as if by pipeline: to pipeline oil from the far north to ice-free ports; to pipeline graduates into the top jobs.
  1. in the pipeline,
    1. the process of being developed, provided, or completed; in the works; under way.
    2. Government Informal.(of funds) authorized but not spent.


  1. a long pipe, esp underground, used to transport oil, natural gas, etc, over long distances
  2. a medium of communication, esp a private one
  3. in the pipeline in the process of being completed, delivered, or produced

verb (tr)

  1. to convey by pipeline
  2. to supply with a pipeline

1859, “continuous line of pipes,” from pipe (n.1) + line (n.). Figurative sense of “channel of communication” is from 1921; surfer slang meaning “hollow part of a large wave” is attested by 1963.

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