sponge /n./ [Unix] A special case of a filter that reads its
entire input before writing any output; the canonical example is a
sort utility. Unlike most filters, a sponge can conveniently
overwrite the input file with the output data stream. If a file
system has versioning (as ITS did and VMS does now) the
sponge/filter distinction loses its usefulness, because directing
filter output would just write a new version. See also slurp.
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