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1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Syringe

SYRINGE (Gr. σῦριγξ, reed, pipe), a hydraulic instrument, based on the principle of the pump, for the drawing up and ejecting of liquids. The ordinary form is that of a glass or metal tube ending in a pointed nozzle and fitted with an airtight piston-rod and handle. The nozzle is inserted in the liquid, which enters the cylinder by atmospheric pressure when the piston-rod is drawn up. On pushing back the piston the fluid is ejected in a jet through the nozzle. In sizes varying from the needle-pointed hypodermic syringe to the abdominal syringe, it is a common surgical implement used for the injection of fluids into the body or for the washing of wounds and cavities. The smaller syringes are made of glass, the larger of metal; the most common medical syringes consist of a length of india-rubber tubing, one end terminating in a nozzle of ivory or other easily cleaned material, in the centre is a bulb or ball which under pressure draws up the liquid through the free end of the tube which is placed in the vessel containing it. There are a very large number of different types of syringe used in surgical practice. A larger syringe of metal, with a fiat perforated nozzle is used as a garden implement for watering plants.