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1. a rubber suction cup fixed to the end of a rod, used to clear blocked drains
2. a device or part of a machine that has a plunging or thrusting motion; piston
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also ram), a piston that has a smooth generatrix (generating surface) or annular grooves and is substantially longer than it is wide. Plungers are chiefly used in hydraulic machines, where they serve as components of pumps, of hydraulic presses and lifts, of slide valves in hydraulic drives, and of multistage gas compressors.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(design engineering)
A wooden shaft with a large rubber suction cup at the end, used to clear plumbing traps and waste outlets.
(mechanical engineering)
The long rod or piston of a reciprocating pump.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

plumber’s friend, force cup, plumber’s helper, plunger

A tool consisting of a rubber suction cup attached to a handle; set over a plumbing trap (or the like) and worked with a pumping action to clear the trap of minor obstructions.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
A PENSIONER almost died after impaling himself in the backside with a sink plunger he was using as a makeshift bath plug.
"He describes getting kissed by me as being hit in the face by the sucker of a sink plunger!"
Student John Laird, 17, has built a replica of the Time Lord's legendary enemy with Christmas baubles, a sink plunger and an egg whisk.
Dad-of-three Jeff Palmer, 45, built his evil mechanoid out of car parts, old Christmas decorations, baked bean cans - and, of course, a sink plunger.
Keep 'em coming, more winners soon.THE must-have toys this year will be everything and anything Doctor Who-related, after the BBC this week signed a lucrative merchandising deal.For those readers whose little darlings have a birthday coming up soon,our advice is: don't panic.Give the kid a sink plunger and tell him you're getting him a Dalek in instalments.
At the BBC store alone we have everything from a Dalek, complete with sink plunger gun, to the Albert Square signs from EastEnders.
And will today's schoolchildren have nightmares about an overgrown pepper--pot with laryngitis, waving a sink plunger about?
Alessi has also just launched Alessi UK, and brilliant new designs include the quirky Mr Cold liquid soap dispenser - a duck with a cold who drips soap from his nose - and Johnny the Diver sink plunger. For details, call 020-7518 9090.
Now boasting pant power, he wears nothing but a red cape and huge white Y-fronts as he takes on the likes of Professor Poopy Pants and the Wicked Wedgie Woman with his trusty sink plunger in five tales of crude, rude mischief making that boys aged six to 10 can't get enough of.
I don't think an entire generation of children would have had nightmares if they'd kept the sink plunger. Thanks, Ian.
And on a pitch so heavy that long clearances plugged in the mud like a sink plunger, the Blues had to resort to the English virtues of spit and sawdust football ahead of continental sophistication.