Definition of channel in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtʃan(ə)l/


1A length of water wider than a strait, joining two larger areas of water, especially two seas.
Example sentences
  • The bay includes saltmarsh, shallow and open water, tidal channels, mudflats and numerous islands, and a freshwater pond.
  • The ocean swell presses a thick plankton soup into the fjords and channels in the area, forming a base for an impressive array of underwater life forms.
  • You'll kayak through a maze of fjords and tidal channels and through the ice-encrusted Cordillera Darwin and the most active tidewater glaciers in the world.
1.1 (the Channel) The English Channel: the movement has spread across the Channel
1.2A navigable passage in a stretch of water otherwise unsafe for vessels: buoys marked the safe limits of the channel
More example sentences
  • By our English law there is a public right of passage through our navigable channels, whether in a port or the approaches to it.
  • The Port Authority has stated that it was looking at undertaking some dredging to widen the shipping channel so that vessels including the Irish ferry would be able to pass the jetty at a further distance.
  • Trapped, they chose to paddle three miles down the coast to Waimea, where they hoped the deep-water bay would provide a navigable channel.
1.3A hollow bed for a natural or artificial waterway: the river is confined in a narrow channel
More example sentences
  • As is illustrated by Lake Nokomis, some drainages have been altered by the construction of dams and artificial channels.
  • Meandering is a very common feature of natural river channels, but the morphology and stability of meanders varies.
  • The city is crossed from east to west by the Rio Mapocho, which passes through an artificial stone channel 40m wide spanned by several bridges.
duct, gutter, groove, furrow, rut, conduit, trough, trench, culvert, cut, sluice, spillway, race, ditch, drain, watercourse, waterway, canal
2A band of frequencies used in radio and television transmission, especially as used by a particular station.
Example sentences
  • Under this concept, multiple antennas simultaneously transmit different flows of data over one and the same radio channel and frequency band.
  • For example, it is able to handle several radio frequency channels so it can be used by customers in different countries.
  • In addition, television-station allocation is skewed toward lower frequency channels that offer superior transmission.
2.1A service or station using a channel of frequencies: a new television channel
More example sentences
  • There was the sense that the programme had simply stepped out of line with the channel's public service broadcasting remit.
  • I linger on stuff that I wouldn't normally choose - greyhound racing, charismatic religious stations, shopping channels, and so on.
  • The shopping channels actively encourage viewers to feel close to the hosts.
3A method or system for communication or distribution: they didn’t apply through the proper channels some companies have a variety of sales channels
More example sentences
  • Now banks can offer wider and quicker channels of distribution and communication.
  • With proper distribution channels in place, the guide is now famous throughout the UK and Europe.
  • You need to follow proper channels of communication.
means, medium, instrument, mechanism, agency, vehicle, route, avenue, course, method, mode;
procedure, technique
4An electric circuit which acts as a path for a signal: an audio channel
More example sentences
  • The signal channel must be void of electron traps induced by flaws in the design, processing, or even the silicon itself.
  • It operates as a typical effects plug-in: insert it on an audio channel and send it some signal.
  • The unit's Digital Signal Processing offers two channels for optimal performance and clarity.
4.1 Electronics The semiconductor region in a field-effect transistor that forms the main current path between the source and the drain.
Example sentences
  • This is defined by the voltage on which drain current begins to flow through the channel of the transistor at an ON state.
  • The metal gate on a current transistor sits above the channel and silicon material.
  • A conductive gate electrode is formed over a second dielectric layer overlying the channel region.
5 Biology A tubular passage or duct for liquid: fish eggs have a small channel called the micropyle
More example sentences
  • Sometimes, it happens because the blood vessels or lymphatic channels are missing to carry fluid away from the soft tissues.
  • It works in a different way than the other medications so far developed and it works on stretch channels in the heart.
  • The lymphatic system comprises the spleen, thymus gland, lymph nodes, and lymphatic vessels or channels.

verb (channels, channelling, channelled; US channels, channeling, channeled)

[with object]
1Direct towards a particular end or object: the council is to channel public funds into training schemes
More example sentences
  • Some clinicians believe the money should be channelled towards improving the state of the nation's hospitals.
  • He's got some serious proposals about channeling money towards anti-malaria medication, transportation infrastructure, clean water wells and the like.
  • Mr Rouse is chief executive of the Housing Corporation, which channels public money into social housing schemes.
1.1Cause to pass along or through a specified route or medium: many countries channel their aid through charities
More example sentences
  • Heavy-duty vehicles moving hazardous substances and goods are to be channelled along specific corridors.
  • Although the heavy through traffic will not now be channelled along the narrow residential roads of Marina Meadows where children will be playing this summer, light local traffic will be diverted there.
  • But we have short-circuited this natural process by constructing hundreds of miles of levees along the river and channeling the rushing water into the Gulf of Mexico, where essential sediment is dumped.
convey, transmit, transport, conduct, direct, guide, bear, carry, relay, pass on, transfer
1.2(Of a person) serve as a medium for (a spirit): she was channeling the spirit of Billie Holiday
More example sentences
  • I think I'll channel her spirit, let her ask me a few questions that I know she would ask if she could.
  • He also goes on to infer that he is channeling the spirit of Charlie Chaplin with the use of digital production.
  • The film's nadir is an interview with ‘Ramtha,’ a 35,000-year-old spirit channeled by a woman named JZ Knight.
1.3Emulate or seem to be inspired by: Meg Ryan plays Avery as if she’s channelling Nicole Kidman
More example sentences
  • Auto plant workers in east Ohio heard Hillary Clinton seemingly channel John Edwards.
  • However, a few times, I could hear Kareem channeling Roger Murdock.
  • I'm not going to be channeling my husband.
2 (usually as adjective channelled) Form channels or grooves in: pottery with a distinctive channelled decoration
More example sentences
  • The channelled whelk is almost as big, and may be distinguished by the deep, channelled grooves which follow the whorls of the shell.
  • The new version has a double-headlight arrangement and a deeply channelled bonnet which looks pretty bizarre, muscular flanks at the rear and a rather dull rear-end marred by a protruding skirt.
  • Take care to swim towards the exit point from the east (keep the exit on your right) so as to avoid the heavily channelled bedrock to the west of the exit.
hollow out, gouge (out), cut (out), flute;
cut a groove in, make a furrow in



Example sentences
  • Alas, the channeler's predictions proved inaccurate, thus nipping the project in the bud.
  • Is she simply the channeler of modern anxiety about the body, or is she exploring her own dark history?
  • There are certainly a lot of bogus psychics who tarnish the reputation of genuine psychic channellers like me.


Middle English: from Old French chanel, from Latin canalis 'pipe, groove, channel', from canna 'reed' (see cane). Compare with canal.

  • cannon from Late Middle English:

    This large heavy piece of artillery derives its name from French canon, from Italian cannone ‘large tube’, from canna ‘cane, reed, tube’. Soldiers have been called cannon fodder, no more than material to be used up in war, since the late 19th century—the expression is a translation of German Kanonenfutter. Shakespeare did encapsulate a similar idea much earlier, with his phrase ‘food for powder’ in Henry IV Part 1. Canna or its Greek equivalent kanna is the base of a number of other words in English, as well as giving us the name of the canna lily (mid 17th century), which gets its name from the shape of its leaves. Some reflect the use of the plants for making things, some their hollow stems. Canes (Middle English) are basically the same plant. Canister (Late Middle English) was originally a basket from Latin canistrum ‘basket for bread, fruit, or flowers’, from Greek kanastron ‘wicker basket’, from kanna. Canal (Late Middle English) and channel (Middle English) both come via French from Latin canalis ‘pipe, groove, channel’ from canna, and share a source with the Italian pasta cannelloni (mid 19th century). The medical cannula (late 17th century) was originally a ‘small reed’; a canyon (mid 19th century) is from Spanish cañón ‘tube’ from canna.

Words that rhyme with channel

annal, flannel, impanel, multichannel, panel

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: chan|nel

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