I am in search of a term that denotes an elongated, cylindrical (with circular cross-section) strip. One that you'd use to describe the body shape of a hose (but not hollow) or a phone charger cord, and around that thickness but not rigid (rod).

I need it for a short story I am writing. Here's an example sentence I want to use it in

The weirdly coloured toothpaste came out in a ...

Here is an image of the kind of object I want to describe.
Short piece of plastic wire

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    Is the object hollow? We might describe it as tube-shaped or hose-like. If it really is similar to a worm, vermiform is a fine word. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 13 '17 at 0:10
  • If you're just describing squeezed toothpaste why not just say cylindrical? Is the non-rigidity important for this adjective? – C.J. Jackson Jul 13 '17 at 0:13
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    "The toothpaste came out of the tube like a weirdly coloured worm." (That's called a simile.) – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 13 '17 at 0:33
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    NOODLE . . . – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 13 '17 at 1:03
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    @P.E.Dant - hose-like is exactly the word I initially thought of. I really don’t think there is a good single word for this, but I would have upvoted vermiform faster than you can squeeze toothpaste out of the tube. – J.R. Jul 13 '17 at 1:37

Per your comment:

@Catija, I need it for a short story I am writing. Here's an example sentence I want to use it in: "The weirdly coloured toothpaste came out in a ..."

You honestly don't need a word, as it's common knowledge how toothpaste looks and works when it's squeezed out of a tube. You can just say it squeezed out like toothpaste.

A good, generic word to describe a significant-but-not-too-long length of toothpaste-like substance that's about hose-like in thickness is coil, but this implies it curves a little - your stereotypical marketing picture of toothpaste is like this though. Rope would work if it's very long. You can use colorful terms like snake, noodle, etc. depending on the mood of your story.

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    Give this man a seegar! @JUNCINATOR should notice this answer. Noodle is spot on: "...like a weirdly coloured noodle..." is exactly the image he's trying to evoke. – P. E. Dant Reinstate Monica Jul 13 '17 at 0:54
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    "A rope of toothpaste" works, imho, and is a nice image. – Luke Sawczak Jul 13 '17 at 2:28
  • With some slight rephrasing, I'd agree with "snake"... "came out" isn't a great verb, anyway, particularly in a story... "The oddly colored toothpaste snaked out of the tube when I squeezed it". – Catija Jul 13 '17 at 19:17

The words you could use are strand, string, and rope. None of them precisely fit your need. On the other hand, everyone knows what toothpaste looks like when you squeeze it out of the tube, so maybe just drop the sentence completely.


An object which is long, thin, and non-rigid could be a string. An adjective describing an object with these qualities would be stringy. If you are describing food, I would instead use stringlike because stringy could also mean fibrous when describing food.

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    Thanks. But I am looking for something thicker than both a 'string' and 'stringy' would describe. – JUNCINATOR Jul 13 '17 at 0:00
  • @JUNCINATOR the picture you posted is not exactly thick. It seems like the thickness of a shoelace? If that's the case stringy would work. – C.J. Jackson Jul 13 '17 at 0:23

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