from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The pipe leading from the bottom of a pump-barrel or -cylinder to the well, cistern, or reservoir from which the water or other liquid is to be drawn up. See pump.
  • n. An air-tight pipe running from beneath a water-wheel to the level of the tail-race. It is said to render the whole fall available.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The american people in general, who will open up the U.S. treasury door, and see a few loose bills floating around in the mouth of the 48 inch suction-pipe that leads to the Halliburton and Bechtel portfolios?

    Firedoglake » The Real McCain, and Other Stories…

  • If it be of cast-iron, a large hammer may effect the purpose: on the water-pipe being broken, the suction-pipe of the engine is placed in the opening so made.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • Small stones, gravel, and other obstructions, sometimes find their way into the nozzle of the branch-pipe, from having dropped into the hose before being attached, or having been drawn through the suction-pipe or from the cistern.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • In the gutters all that is required is to dam them up; and, if there be no materials at hand for this purpose, the causeway must be dug up, till there is a sufficient depth of water for the suction-pipe of the engine.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • It is of advantage to carry four lengths of suction-pipe, as they can be joined to reach the water; if one is damaged the others will still be serviceable.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • In working from an open water, such as a gutter, drain, river, or pond, it is proper, in order to prevent sand or gravel being drawn into the engine, to sink an iron or wooden bucket, into which the suction-pipe of the engine should be placed.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • Two and sometimes three engines are worked by suction-pipe from one plug in this manner.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • The screwed suction cap with iron handle admits the water in two different directions, according as it is open or closed: the one to supply the engine when water is drawn from the cistern, the other for drawing water through the suction-pipe.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • When the man inside the drain or common sewer has collected a proper supply of water by damming up the channel, the suction-pipe should be handed down to him, and the engine set to work.

    Fire Prevention and Fire Extinction

  • Early in the present century Watt devised, for the Glasgow water-works, to bring pure spring-water across the Clyde, an articulated suction-pipe, with joints formed on the principle of those in a lobster's tail, and so made capable of accommodating itself to all the actual and possible bendings at the bottom of the river.

    Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 6 of 8 A series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more than 200 of the most prominent personages in History

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.