/ (ˈsaɪfən) /
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a variant spelling of siphon
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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.
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


What does syphon mean?

A syphon is a tube or hose used to draw liquid or gas out of one container and into another using atmospheric pressure.

To move a liquid from one container to another, you can place your syphon, that is a tube bent into two unequal legs into each container. Put the shorter leg into the container with the liquid in it. Now put the longer leg into the empty container and put the empty container on a lower surface than the container with the liquid. You are syphoning the liquid from one container to another.

To syphon also has a figurative sense. If you syphon money from your employer’s bank account into your own, you are moving money from your employer’s account into yours. Of course, another term for this is stealing.

Syphon is an alternative spelling of siphon. You’ll see syphon used more often in British English than American, but both spellings are acceptable.

Example: You can syphon out the excess fluid using the pump provided.

Where does syphon come from?

The first records of the term syphon come from around 1675. It comes from the Greek sī́phōn, meaning “pipe” or “tube.” While not every tube can be used as a syphon, it is rare to find a syphon that works without tubing.

Syphons have a variety of uses and come in all shapes and sizes. Two of the most common types of syphons are used to remove water from a fish tank or to remove gasoline from a vehicle. While syphoning gas is usually illegal, it is also done by car dealerships and junkyards for safety purposes.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to syphon?

  • siphon (alternative spelling)

What are some synonyms for syphon?

What are some words that share a root or word element with syphon

What are some words that often get used in discussing syphon?

How is syphon used in real life?

While used less often than siphon, syphon is used to discuss the process of drawing a liquid or a gas out of something or of the tubing used to do so.



Try using syphon!

Is syphon used correctly in the following sentence?

When my lawn mower ran out of gas, I carefully syphoned enough from my car to finish mowing the lawn.

How to use syphon in a sentence