noun ca·nal \kə-ˈnal\

: a long narrow place that is filled with water and was created by people so that boats could pass through it or to supply fields, crops, etc., with water

medical : a tube or passageway in the body

Full Definition of CANAL

:  a tubular anatomical passage or channel :  duct
:  an artificial waterway for navigation or for draining or irrigating land
:  any of various faint narrow lines on the planet Mars seen through telescopes and once thought by some to be canals built by Martians

Examples of CANAL

  1. <the Panama Canal opened a much easier and shorter passageway from the Atlantic to the Pacific>

Origin of CANAL

Middle English, from Latin canalis pipe, channel, from canna reed — more at cane
First Known Use: 15th century

Other Anatomy Terms

bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral


canalled or canaledcanal·ling or canal·ing

Definition of CANAL

transitive verb
:  to construct a canal through or across

First Known Use of CANAL


Other Civil Engineering Terms

asphalt, ballast, barrage, cantilever, infrastructure, sluice
CANALLED Defined for Kids


noun ca·nal \kə-ˈnal\

Definition of CANAL for Kids

:  an artificial waterway for boats or for irrigation of land
:  a tubelike passage in the body <The ear canal leads from the opening of the ear to the eardrum.>

Headscratcher for CANAL

Canal is part of a famous saying from around the time the Panama Canal was built. The saying is spelled the same forward and backwards. It goes: A man! A plan! A canal! Panama!
Medical Dictionary


noun ca·nal \kə-ˈnal\

Medical Definition of CANAL

:  a tubular anatomical passage or channel :  duct—see alimentary canal, haversian canal, inguinal canal


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