Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
1. To suck or draw off a liquid from or out of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "siphon" and "off." The thief was caught siphoning off gas from cars parked around the city. You'll want to siphon any excess oil off from the top of the solution.
2. By extension, to take funds, especially illegally or deceitfully, from another source in small increments. A noun or pronoun can be used between "siphon" and "off." The CEO has been accused of siphoning money off from his employees' pensions funds to pay for his personal trips around the world. The sales assistant siphoned off money from the till for years before she was finally caught.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
siphon something off(from something)
1. Lit. to suck or draw a liquid off from something. Harry siphoned the cream off the milk. He siphoned off the cream.
2. Fig. to embezzle or steal something a little at a time. The teller had been siphoning money off for years. she siphoned off a few dollars from the collection every week or so.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To draw off or convey something through or as if through a siphon: I used a tube to siphon off the excess water in the fish tank. The lawn mower ran out of gas, so we siphoned some off from the car's gas tank.
2. To appropriate some money illegally or dishonestly: The managers were siphoning off money from the foundation and putting it into secret accounts. The dictator siphoned millions of dollars off and hid the money in private bank accounts.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.