From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
2. That through which any liquid is passed for purification or to separate it from solid matter; anything, as a screen or a cloth, used to strain a liquid; a device of the character of a sieve or of a filter; specifically, an openwork or perforated screen, as for the end of the suction pipe of a pump, to prevent large solid bodies from entering with a liquid.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
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