Definition of tubular in US English:



  • 1Long, round, and hollow like a tube.

    ‘tubular flowers of deep crimson’
    • ‘Its tubular flowers grow in tiers, rising above the lovely foliage.’
    • ‘The yellowish-green to white perianth of male and hermaphrodite flowers is tubular.’
    • ‘The plant has smooth, shiny, oval leaves and tubular flowers.’
    • ‘It produces showy, tubular flowers in summer and is able to set seed if pollinators are available.’
    • ‘Other flowers attract hummingbirds with color; such flowers tend to be red, have symmetrical tubular flowers, and provide a heavy nectar flow.’
    • ‘It's an annual, with heart shaped leaves and curious tubular flowers, yellow at the base and purple at the top.’
    • ‘The small, tubular flowers are a translucent white with the faintest blush of rose.’
    • ‘It is essential to keep in mind that hummers prefer tubular flowers that allow their long, needle-like bills to fit inside these tubes.’
    • ‘Add some hardy fuchsias for their pink, red and white tubular flowers that appeal to the hummingbirds.’
    • ‘They all have tubular flowers with the most common colors being red and blue.’
    • ‘The long tubular flowers look great with many ornamentals but are especially attractive near green-and-white hostas and dark daylilies.’
    • ‘Flowers with tubular red corollas are especially attractive to hummingbirds.’
    • ‘In winter and spring, profuse clusters of long tubular white flowers burst open at the tips of the branches.’
    • ‘Descending rows of dots and extended tubular shapes meander across pale blue and green backgrounds.’
    • ‘The flower has a tubular calyx with four ovate lobes and a corolla with four overlapping petals.’
    • ‘It's in the same family as Daphne and the tubular flowers resemble those of its cousin, except that they are a bright, buttery yellow!’
    • ‘Predation by ants may have driven the evolution of flowers with a more tubular shape, counterbalancing the pressure for flaring caused by bumblebees and explaining the less open shape in areas where ants are more numerous.’
    • ‘Agapanthus have long been prized for their unique 1 to 4 inch clusters of tubular flowers - often as many as 20-50 per cluster.’
    • ‘Curcuma is a tall reed-like tuber from Burma with luscious, lilac-pink tubular flowers that make a spectacular show.’
    • ‘In late spring, the arching stems carry drooping clusters of small, tubular flowers that are white tipped with green.’
    1. 1.1 Made from a tube or tubes.
      ‘tubular steel chairs’
      • ‘His first piece, this cantilevered chair of tubular steel forms a wide, smooth curve and takes full advantage of the materials used.’
      • ‘From hand-made Boston rockers with hand-turned spindles, designers turned to cantilevered cane-backed chairs made of tubular steel.’
      • ‘The tubular steel frame is exposed and the fat twin exhaust pipes sit underneath the seat, protruding slightly.’
      • ‘Above looms the fantastic network of 53,000 tonnes of steel lattice - work connected to the main tubular steel members which look solid enough but are in desperate need of a fresh lick of paint.’
      • ‘It is ingeniously proportioned with a distinctive form - a chromium-plated tubular steel frame is topped in either grey, metallic black or transparent plexiglass.’
      • ‘Shaped like a slightly distorted semi-circle, the flat roof is supported by slim tubular steel columns so that it appears to hover lightly over the solid structure below.’
      • ‘Tensile forces are transferred through tubular steel members.’
      • ‘A locking assembly is coupled with the C-shaped clamping portion for selectively locking the clamping portion to the tubular rail.’
      • ‘The ramp is supported by tubular steel masts, ranging in diameter from 190 to 350 mm.’
      • ‘The lightweight seats, made of fabric stretched between tubular steel frames, were removable in case you wanted to transport something large…’
      • ‘Vinyl replaced leather; bright prints superseded dark brocades; unadorned acrylic and plywood was employed instead of hardwood, and tubular steel instead of wrought iron.’
      • ‘Sleek, functional liquid lines have light reflecting off smooth lacquer and granite surfaces, with tubular steel legs and accessories providing contrast.’
      • ‘The base of all Concert stands is made of tubular steel for strength and rigidity without excess weight, and a full range of lighting and other accessories have been designed to meet the different needs of music organizations and venues.’
      • ‘Auntie Lizzie lived in a house with a black door that had an oval window in it at the top, her front garden had a steep slope and concrete steps with an old persons tubular handrail.’
      • ‘The curving metal clad roof has a simple but elegant structure of deep curving laminated timber beams, which are braced and supported on either side of the gymnasium by tubular steel V-shaped columns.’
      • ‘The ends of the dome are closed with the same material, carried on diagonal grids of cardboard stiffened with timber and connected by tubular steel nodes.’
      • ‘Police also want to hear from landowners who have a gate made of tubular steel, which is set back from the road, on their grounds.’
      • ‘It became one of the most influential homes of the 20th century, with its enormous plate glass windows, tubular steel furniture, and open planning concepts.’
      • ‘Parallel rows of large laminated glass panels or planks of wood supported by tubular steel frames were the only furnishings, their reductivist quality reflecting the industrial rigour of the surroundings.’
      • ‘Constructed of a tubular steel frame, machine-fabricated components and an exotic variety of leather finishes, the chaise longue epitomises aesthetic purity.’
    2. 1.2Surfing (of a wave) hollow and well curved.
      • ‘Waves are fast, sometimes tubular and perfect, breaking on sand always in the bay’
      • ‘When an approaching swell hits this reef wall a third of a mile offshore, it creates a tubular wave so powerful that it has been called a ‘freak of hydrodynamics.’’
      • ‘These surfers perform their dance on tubular swells that even today's heroes might not have attempted.’
    3. 1.3US informal Excellent.
      ‘U2's brand of really tubular new-wave sounds’
      • ‘You'll like him...he's totally tubular.’
      • ‘He's a really groovy rap artist...he's totally tubular.’
  • 2Medicine
    Of or involving tubules or other tube-shaped structures.

    • ‘Part of the tumor was composed of ductal and anastomosing tubular structures made up of luminal cells and myoepithelial cells.’
    • ‘Sections of the fragment showed a glandular proliferation consisting of tubular structures of different sizes separated by spindle stromal elements.’
    • ‘Most of the epithelia were glandular, forming ductal and tubular structures, with some multinucleated giant cells.’
    • ‘A ‘pseudotumor’ of the extrahepatic biliary tract, the nodular lesion is characterized by tubular structures that are lined by columnar or cuboidal cells.’
    • ‘The intrathoracic trachea is readily seen on computed tomography appearing as an air-filled tubular structure.’
    tube-shaped, tubiform, pipe-like
    View synonyms


  • 1

    short for tubular tire
    • ‘The weights of wheels have definitely increased in recent years due to the dominance of clinchers over tubulars and ‘aero section aluminum rims‘.’
    • ‘The company's new Deda Tre tire line consists of tubulars and clinchers, including the Olimpico, which Deda claims is the only 300-tpi-casing tire available.’
    • ‘We're hoping the racers we have testing them tell us they ride even better than a tubular.’
    • ‘I have a quick comment on the Tufo clincher tubular.’
    • ‘The rim is of course heavier due to the clincher's sidewalls as opposed to the simple and strong outer surface of a tubular rim, and the extra weight of the rim-grabbing foot adds significantly to the weight of a tubular.’
  • 2tubularsOil-drilling equipment made from tubes.

    • ‘The present invention provides methods and apparatus for cutting tubulars in a wellbore.’
    • ‘The present invention relates to apparatus for cleaning the interior bore of well bore tubulars, such as is found in the oil and gas production industries.’


Late 17th century: from Latin tubulus ‘small tube’ + -ar.