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Syllabification: ca·nal
Pronunciation: /kəˈnal

Definition of canal in English:


1An artificial waterway constructed to allow the passage of boats or ships inland or to convey water for irrigation.
Example sentences
  • Keeping enough water in the canal to guarantee ships passage has become a problem.
  • Many canals, inland waterways and towpaths were open for walkers and other visitors while many English Heritage and National Trust sites were open across the region.
  • The surrounding countryside is flat and almost treeless, but there is some greenery thanks to the complex of irrigation canals that feed water from the Euphrates River and other waterways.
inland waterway, watercourse, channel
1.1A tubular duct in a plant or animal, serving to convey or contain food, liquid, or air: the ear canal
More example sentences
  • Each cord maintains its connection with the abdominal cavity via the canal, whence the vas joins the urinary tract below the bladder.
  • Between the vestibular and tympanic canals lies the cochlear duct.
  • This canal is the top canal of the inner ear so it is actually right under the brain.
duct, tube, passage
1.2 Astronomy Any of a number of linear markings formerly reported as seen by telescope on the planet Mars.
[named canali ( 'channels') by G. V. Schiaparelli ( 1835–1910); the markings are now thought to have arisen from eye or lens defects]
Example sentences
  • Percival Lowell was convinced that these lines were canals, built by a race of intelligent Martians.
  • This controversy continued until the 1960s when spacecraft exploration of the planet showed no evidence of the canals.
  • A century ago, the astronomer Percival Lowell described water-filled canals on Mars for the same reason.


late Middle English: from Old French, alteration of chanel 'channel', from Latin canalis 'pipe, groove, channel', from canna 'cane'.

Definition of canal in:

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Word of the day orthoepy
Pronunciation: ˈɔːθəʊɛpi
the correct or accepted pronunciation of words