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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The gifts, the food, the Christmas tree and decorations — sandwiched between two monthly rent payments — siphon money from my bank account. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, "5 tips for a ‘no-spend month’ to recover financially from the holidays," 5 Jan. 2021 This week, Motherboard showed just how far that practice extends, reporting that the US military and its contractors have relationships with companies like Babel Street and X-Mode that siphon location data from countless apps. Brian Barrett, Wired, "Security News This Week: The Secret Service Is Investigating 700 Cases of Covid Relief Fraud," 21 Nov. 2020 Could Mo Alie-Cox return from a knee injury and siphon targets from both of them? Phil Thompson,, "Fantasy football lineups for Week 8: Start Travis Fulgham and sit DeVante Parker," 28 Oct. 2020 As the order explained, Chinese apps siphon information from users and can be used by Beijing for... The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s U.S. WeChat Ban," 18 Sep. 2020 Casinos have long viewed online gambling warily, as a potential siphon of the dollars that come from gamblers attending their venues. Katherine Sayre, WSJ, "Casinos, Investors Bet on Gamblers Playing From Home," 16 Aug. 2020 After primary fermentation is almost complete, the beer is transferred using a siphon hose to another fermenter, leaving behind the yeast sediment in the primary fermenter. Charlie Papazian, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Beer Recipe Came From Hops Grown at the Smithsonian," 28 May 2020 Keep the siphon warm, ideally at 65 degrees Celsius. Alisha Prakash, Travel + Leisure, "18 Italian Hotel Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes to Help You Get a Taste of Italy at Home," 6 Apr. 2020 The law, authored by Republican Rep. Drew Springer of Muenster, was seen by some as an attempt to help the Green Party siphon votes from Democrats. María Méndez, Dallas News, "Texas’ new ballot requirements have Libertarians and Greens confused ahead of elections," 22 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Polls suggest the nationalist Sa’ar might be able to siphon off enough voters from both the right and center to unseat the country’s longest-serving leader. Time, "Netanyahu’s Coalition Government Collapses After Budget Bill Failure – Triggering Israel’s 4th Election in 2 Years," 23 Dec. 2020 The ads make progressive promises with wording about climate change and holding police accountable in an attempt to appeal to liberal-leaning voters, which could potentially siphon votes away from Democrat Patricia Sigman. Annie Martin,, "Republican-backed group pushes ads for independent candidate in Scott Plakon-Tracey Kagan race," 28 Oct. 2020 And if, say, Coleman can siphon some of Ramey’s intensity into his own game and demeanor, all the better. Nick Moyle,, "Coleman, Jones and Ramey will lead the way for Texas," 20 Nov. 2020 In addition, this could siphon away more customers from J.C. Penney, which houses hundreds of Sephora shops, at a time that department store is emerging from bankruptcy protection as a smaller company. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Ulta’s plan to open mini shops in 100 Targets could create a new beauty superpower," 10 Nov. 2020 Health insurance experts fear that these cheaper plans can siphon younger and healthier consumers away from ACA plans, driving up premiums in the ACA market. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Even with a Republican Senate, Biden has lots of ways to save healthcare reform," 5 Nov. 2020 The two Navy veterans last faced off in 2018, when Luria ousted Taylor, whose staffers were accused of forging signatures on a petition for an independent candidate in a bid to siphon off votes from Luria. Teaganne Finn,, "Luria Wins Re-Election for Virginia House Seat; Democrats Hold," 4 Nov. 2020 Democrats' ads for a third-party candidate, who has endorsed Graham but remains on the ballot, could also siphon support from the senator. al, "Doug Jones only Democrat among America’s 10 most vulnerable senators," 2 Nov. 2020 At the same time, a committee linked to a Republican strategist has sent ads touting an independent candidate to progressive-leaning voters, an apparent attempt to siphon votes away from Sigman’s effort to flip the seat for Democrats. Annie Martin,, "Florida GOP pulled in three times as much cash as Dems before the general election," 31 Oct. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for siphon

Time Traveler

The first known use of siphon was in 1659

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Statistics for siphon

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Siphon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for siphon


How to pronounce siphon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of siphon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bent tube used to move a liquid from one container into another container by means of air pressure



English Language Learners Definition of siphon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move (a liquid) from one container to another by using a siphon
: to take and use (something, such as money) for your own purpose


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

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