siphon

siphon (sĪˈfən, –fŏn) [key], tube or other enclosed conduit through which a liquid is lifted over an elevation and then emptied at a lower level. The movement of the liquid is driven primarily by the force of gravity. A siphon is typically shaped like an inverted J or U; to operate, it must discharge at a level lower than that of the liquid's surface on the intake side. The siphon must be filled before it will operate; suction is sometimes used initially to draw a liquid into a empty siphon.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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