Definition of flume in US English:



  • 1A deep narrow channel or ravine with a stream running through it.

    • ‘These operations required vast quantities of water, which were diverted from rivers into flumes and pipes and stored behind wooden dams, which in turn required vast quantities of timber.’
    • ‘The hydraulic system had to take water from the creek and return it there, probably by a dam and flume system.’
    1. 1.1 An artificial channel conveying water, typically used for transporting logs or timber.
      • ‘Back at the block operation, trays are lifted out of the brine tank and the cheese is herded into another flume, which takes the blocks through the washer for a rinse-off before packaging.’
      • ‘The flume recirculates both water and sediment in order to provide a continuous supply of heterogeneous sand particles under steady flow conditions during the course of each experiment.’
      • ‘Often the animals were placed in water flumes and required to swim continuously against a current generated by a pump.’
      • ‘Indeed this assumption is made when inducing microturbulent flow to create a rectilinear flow profile in flumes.’
      • ‘According to Pearl, Pennoyer constructed a flume that carried stream water to the site for washing out and screening crystals.’
      • ‘Others have used the endurance of fish swimming steadily at a given speed in a flume or a gantry tank to measure maximum sustainable swimming performance.’
      • ‘Wave transformation and sediment mobilization processes are difficult to understand and predict in a laboratory flume, under controlled conditions, without obstructions.’
      • ‘We believe that sugar managers had the technology to measure the weight of cut cane that individual harvesters brought to the railhead or flume.’
      • ‘Video recordings were made of the overhead view of fish swimming in a re-circulating flume at 10 deg C across of range of steady swimming speeds.’
      drain, sluice, sluiceway, culvert, spillway, sewer
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    2. 1.2 A water-chute ride at an amusement park.
      • ‘A chicken nibbled on smashed watermelon, and dancers swam in a plastic water flume, and a fake walrus lumbered across the stage.’
      • ‘The original teaching pool now functions as a toddlers' pool and flumes have been installed in the North West corner.’
      • ‘The leisure centre has a 25m indoor pool, a fun pool with 100 ft flume and lazy river rapids as well as an outdoor pool which is used during the summer months.’
      • ‘It will include a wave pool, water roller coaster and over ten other water-based flumes or slides.’
      • ‘In addition, there are two flume rides where swimmers float on large inflated tubes.’
      • ‘The Oasis, with its water flumes and hydro slide, is a favourite among youngsters.’
      • ‘You walk where you can, scramble over rocks, wade and swim through pools and in places you slide down natural flumes.’
      • ‘Here you can ride the waves in the pool, have fun on the flumes and slides, take it easy in the hot whirlpool or simply put your feet up and read a book.’
      • ‘There, with disco music blaring and lights flashing, they are swished around several times before being fed into a flume that drops them down a 14-foot ramp into a splash pool.’
      • ‘If you enjoy a day at the swimming pool, splashing down the flumes, think of canyoning as the 100% natural equivalent.’
      • ‘Since last week the flume, the doors, a proportion of the tiles round the aquacise pool, and one of the canoes, have all been replaced or repainted.’
      • ‘Tom couldn't get enough of the mini flume and waterslide.’
      • ‘Children are playing on the sandy playground and at the pool there are squeals of delight at the flumes and slides.’
      • ‘Plans for the 40,000 square-foot zone include a beachside wave pool, a wild water river, two splash flumes, a lazy river ride and spa and plunge pools.’
      • ‘There are two springboards in the middle, and a double flume of Alton Towers proportions that unloads shrieking youngsters at high speed into one of the two shallow ends.’
      water slide, slide, log flume, hydroslide
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Middle English (denoting a river or stream): from Old French flum, from Latin flumen ‘river’, from fluere ‘to flow’. The sense ‘artificial channel’ dates from the mid 18th century; ‘water chute for amusement’ is a late 20th-century usage.