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siphon

[sahy-fuh n] /ˈsaɪ fən/
noun
1.
a tube or conduit bent into legs of unequal length, for use in drawing a liquid from one container into another on a lower level by placing the shorter leg into the container above and the longer leg into the one below, the liquid being forced up the shorter leg and into the longer one by the pressure of the atmosphere.
3.
a projecting tubular part of some animals, especially certain mollusks, through which liquid enters or leaves the body.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
4.
to convey, draw, or pass through or as if through a siphon (sometimes followed by off):
to siphon water; to siphon off profits into a secret bank account.
Also, syphon.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; < Latin sīphōn- (stem of sīphō) < Greek síphōn, sī́phōn pipe, tube
Related forms
siphonal, siphonic
[sahy-fon-ik] /saɪˈfɒn ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
siphonless, adjective
siphonlike, adjective
pseudosiphonal, adjective
pseudosiphonic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for siphon
  • They thus siphon off cash that could be more productively used elsewhere.
  • Lift starts a siphon effect and is all that is needed to start a flow of anti-freeze.
  • Grappling hooks attached to siphon electricity from low-hanging power lines.
  • And there was a gentlemen's agreement with department stores not to siphon sales by reaching out directly to wealthy customers.
  • BP is trying to drop huge domes over the leaks and siphon off the oil they collect.
  • There are gas burners built in, and the high mash-tun lets you siphon the wort by gravity, meaning no pump is needed.
  • Other moths do the same with salts they siphon from puddles.
  • Without the cold compress of the mantle to siphon heat away from the core, convection wouldn't have a chance.
  • Milosevic will siphon off the aid or claim credit for it.
  • If it does, it will siphon demand away from other economies.
British Dictionary definitions for siphon

siphon

/ˈsaɪfən/
noun
1.
a tube placed with one end at a certain level in a vessel of liquid and the other end outside the vessel below this level, so that liquid pressure forces the liquid through the tube and out of the vessel by gravity
2.
3.
(zoology) any of various tubular organs in different aquatic animals, such as molluscs and elasmobranch fishes, through which a fluid, esp water, passes
verb
4.
(often foll by off) to pass or draw off through or as if through a siphon
Derived Forms
siphonage, noun
siphonal, siphonic (saɪˈfɒnɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sīphō, from Greek siphōn siphon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for siphon
n.

late 14c., from Latin sipho (genitive siphonis) "a siphon," from Greek siphon "pipe, tube for drawing wine from a cask," of unknown origin. Related: Siphonal.

v.

1859, from siphon (n.). Figurative sense of "to draw off, divert" is recorded from 1940. Related: Siphoned; siphoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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siphon in Medicine

siphon si·phon (sī'fən)
n.
A tube bent into an inverted U shape of unequal lengths, used to remove fluid by means of atmospheric pressure from a cavity or reservoir at one end of the tube over a barrier and out the other end. v. si·phoned, si·phon·ing, si·phons

  1. To draw off or convey through a siphon.

  2. To pass through a siphon.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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siphon in Science
siphon
  (sī'fən)   
  1. A pipe or tube in the form of an upside-down U, filled with liquid and arranged so that the pressure of the atmosphere forces liquid to flow upward from a container through the tube, over a barrier, and into a lower container.

  2. A tubular animal part, as of a clam, through which water is taken in or expelled.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for siphon

instrument, usually in the form of a tube bent to form two legs of unequal length, for conveying liquid over the edge of a vessel and delivering it at a lower level. Siphons may be of any size; they are used in civil engineering to transfer water or other fluids over elevations. The action depends upon the influence of gravity (not, as sometimes thought, on the difference in atmospheric pressure-a siphon will work in a vacuum) and upon the cohesive forces that prevent the columns of liquid in the legs of the siphon from breaking under their own weight. Water has been lifted more than 35 feet (11 m) by a siphon

Learn more about siphon with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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