One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tube containing liquid or gas under pressure.
2Specifically. A tube in which pressurized coolant or moderator is passed through the core in certain types of nuclear reactor. Usually attributive in "pressure tube reactor".
3A tube open at one or more points to a surrounding fluid whose velocity or pressure it is used to measure. Usually attributive in "pressure tube anemometer".
Mid 19th century. From pressure + tube.
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