Definition of funnel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfʌn(ə)l/


1A tube or pipe that is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, used for guiding liquid or powder into a small opening.
Example sentences
  • He referred to the fact that he also knows at the present time that the cavity opening was like a funnel, narrow at the bottom and wide at the top.
  • The range of ideas explored should feel like a funnel, starting off wide, and narrowing as you go along.
  • This device acts as a funnel, guiding a woman's urine to the relief tube.
tube, pipe, channel, conduit
2A metal chimney on a ship or steam engine.
Example sentences
  • The cruiser lurched under the hail of fire - two shots slammed into the wheels and funnels of the strange ship, shattering wood and rending metal until the sleek machine of death became a tangled mess of bloody scrap.
  • Her symptoms are much milder, certainly, but Christopher has a fear of the colour yellow; Hayley has a phobia about cogs and ship funnels.
  • From a distance, you can also make out the ship's two enormous funnels, each emblazoned on both sides with a huge letter ‘S ‘set in a laurel wreath.’
chimney, flue, vent, shaft;
Scottish & Northern English  lum

verb (funnels, funnelling, funnelled; US funnels, funneling, funneled)

[with object and adverbial of direction]
1Guide or channel (something) through or as if through a funnel: some $12.8 billion was funnelled through the Marshall Plan
More example sentences
  • When calves are fed milk it is funnelled through the oesophageal groove to the true stomach by-passing the rumen.
  • Even when Congress orders a study, the funding doesn't come directly from the legislature; it is usually funneled through an executive agency - one which might be opposed to the study and hold up the funding.
  • Funds, clothing, food, etc. are not given directly to the poor, rather they are funneled through the recipient government.
channel, guide, feed, direct, convey, move, pass;
pour, filter, siphon
1.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move or be guided through or as if through a funnel: the wind funnelled down through the valley
More example sentences
  • They'll make it physical, use to their benefit the fact that the Gaelic Grounds is a small pitch and attempt to force Kerry to play a tight game funnelled down the middle.
  • The cavern funnelled down to a gloomy interior with a floor at 16m and seemed ideal for the purpose.
  • That emphasis has been funneled down to individual papers and newsrooms through a variety of performance requirements, marketing programs and new product strategies.
1.2 [no object] Assume the shape of a funnel by widening or narrowing at the end: the crevice funnelled out
More example sentences
  • Indeed, the only disappointment in the hearts of Rovers fans as they funnelled out the gate was that there were not more goals.
  • As our sleepiness dissipated into the dank pre-dawn air, we funneled out of the darkness into the foreboding cigarette smoke-filled briefing room.
  • Huge swathes of important streets, like Third Avenue - a main artery on the East Side - would simply be shut down unexpectedly during prime hours, and all cars funneled through a narrow point.


Late Middle English: apparently via Old French from Provençal fonilh, from late Latin fundibulum, from Latin infundibulum, from infundere, from in- 'into' + fundere 'pour'.

Words that rhyme with funnel

Chunnel, gunnel, gunwale, runnel, tunnel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fun¦nel

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