si·​phon | \ ˈsī-fən How to pronounce siphon (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of siphon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a tube bent to form two legs of unequal length by which a liquid can be transferred to a lower level over an intermediate elevation by the pressure of the atmosphere in forcing the liquid up the shorter branch of the tube immersed in it while the excess of weight of the liquid in the longer branch when once filled causes a continuous flow
b usually syphon : a bottle for holding aerated water that is driven out through a bent tube in its neck by the pressure of the gas when a valve in the tube is opened
2 : any of various tubular organs in animals and especially mollusks or arthropods that are used for drawing in or ejecting fluids


variants: or less commonly syphon
siphoned also syphoned; siphoning also syphoning\ ˈsī-​fə-​niŋ How to pronounce siphon (audio) , ˈsīf-​niŋ \

Definition of siphon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to convey, draw off, or empty by or as if by a siphon often used with off

intransitive verb

: to pass by or as if by a siphon

Illustration of siphon

Illustration of siphon


siphon 1a

In the meaning defined above

Synonyms & Antonyms for siphon

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of siphon in a Sentence

Verb The water needs to be siphoned from the pool. She illegally siphoned money out of other people's bank accounts. Funds were siphoned from the schools to build a new stadium. The large chain stores are siphoning profits from the small local stores.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When applied with a pressure washer, detergent gets incorporated either through a soap tank on the machine or through a pressure washer siphon tube placed in an external cleaning solution. Kristina Mcguirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 11 May 2022 For java devotees with a taste for steampunk or antique design, Diguo’s balancing siphon coffee maker doubles as an art piece for brew connoisseurs. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Apr. 2022 This comes weeks after the shelter also found that someone had disconnected the hose to the gas tank in the van in order to siphon gasoline, Allen said. Adam Terro, The Arizona Republic, 1 Apr. 2022 Many in the education community had rallied against it, saying the measure would harm public schools and siphon even more money away from them. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Feb. 2022 When an annoying male enters the scene, a female octopus will gather projectiles like shells or silt using her tentacles before launching the debris with a siphon of water. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Sep. 2021 At some point in their 20s or 30s, many workers enter a season of life when jobs and families siphon time away from friendships, but temporarily reducing workloads could mitigate that shift and let people live fuller, more varied lives. Joe Pinsker, The Atlantic, 14 Dec. 2021 The Picteau team uses a soda siphon to make this drink. Catherine Sabino, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 To make the drink without a siphon, mix the ingredients and add sparkling water. Catherine Sabino, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The government accused Kolfage of using fake invoices and sham vendor arrangements to siphon more than $350,000 for personal expenses, including home renovations, a boat and a luxury SUV. Jeremy Schwartz, ProPublica, 5 May 2022 The most immediate action Congress should take is to enact a temporary windfall profits tax that ensures oil companies don't siphon away profits for themselves at the expense of American families. Patrick Gaspard For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, 11 Apr. 2022 In Virginia, the run on gas prompted an urgent warning Thursday that people should never siphon gasoline after calls in recent days about people being poisoned. Tom Foreman Jr.,, 13 May 2021 The run on gas also prompted an urgent warning in the state that people should never siphon gasoline off by mouth with hoses, an advisory that followed calls in recent days about people who were poisoned. Tom Foreman Jr., Star Tribune, 13 May 2021 Alternatively, if the ports are successful and make money, their government owners may siphon off some of it to pay for things unrelated to the port. Adam A. Millsap, Forbes, 27 May 2022 Many of these candidates take their cues from Trump in an obvious attempt to siphon off voters from his base. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 15 Apr. 2022 The closure of Broad Ripple shocked the community and there were concerns that a new option opening in the area immediately after the closure would siphon more students away from the remaining IPS high schools. Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star, 29 Apr. 2022 If this moderate candidate could siphon off 25-30% of the vote from the majority party and win the backing of most of the minority party, this would make the general election genuinely competitive. Garry Kasparov, CNN, 26 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'siphon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of siphon


1659, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1859, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for siphon


French siphon, from Latin siphon-, sipho tube, pipe, siphon, from Greek siphōn

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Siphon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for siphon


si·​phon | \ ˈsī-fən \

Kids Definition of siphon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a bent pipe or tube through which a liquid can be drawn by air pressure up and over the edge of a container
2 : a tubelike part especially of a mollusk (as a clam) usually used to draw in or squirt out water


siphoned; siphoning

Kids Definition of siphon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to draw off by or as if by a siphon

More from Merriam-Webster on siphon

Nglish: Translation of siphon for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about siphon


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