canal

noun
ca·​nal | \ kə-ˈnal How to pronounce canal (audio) \

Definition of canal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

canal

verb
canalled or canaled; canalling or canaling

Definition of canal (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to construct a canal through or across

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Examples of canal in a Sentence

Noun

the Panama Canal opened a much easier and shorter passageway from the Atlantic to the Pacific

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Dams were built, too, and yet more canals, all in an effort to turn India into a reliably fertile place from which profit could be had. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "‘Unruly Waters’ and ‘Ganges’ Review: In India, Water Is Politics," 4 Jan. 2019 Pierre Gedeon suggests an itinerary with a few nights first in Panama City (for the Casco Antiguo, the Biomuseo, the canal) and then the highlands (coffee plantation, hiking, indigenous tribes). Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 Ervin-Knott's ruling said that while the Corps and its contractors may be building the canals, the Sewerage & Water Board had signed an agreement that holds the federal government blameless for any property damage. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Judge rejects Sewerage & Water Board motion for new trial in Uptown drainage lawsuit," 9 May 2018 In his book The Renegade History of the United States, Thaddeus Russell explains that the first large wave of Irish immigrants worked low-paying jobs—mostly building the canals along the Canadian border—that other Americans wouldn’t do. Michael Harriot, The Root, "When the Irish Weren’t White," 17 Mar. 2018 Ota’s remains were found downstream from the canal, the charges say. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Police: Woman who fled to Japan after 2011 homicide is booked into the King County Jail," 4 Dec. 2018 Bredgade stretches from Nyhavn canal to the moats of Kastellet, but this street is more than a convenient thoroughfare. New York Times, "36 Hours in Copenhagen," 26 Apr. 2018 Some residents of the Valley receive irrigation water from the canals, but the rest of us either have private wells or must use city water for our lawns and gardens. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Thinking of becoming a gardener? Here’s a primer for southern Idaho," 31 Jan. 2018 Much of the function of this ear-nose-throat network hinges on tiny canals called the Eustachian tubes. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Here’s How to Get Relief From Ear Pressure When You’re Sick," 9 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'canal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of canal

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1792, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for canal

Noun

Middle English, from Latin canalis pipe, channel, from canna reed — more at cane

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Statistics for canal

Last Updated

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for canal

The first known use of canal was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for canal

canal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of canal

: 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

canal

noun
ca·​nal | \ kə-ˈnal How to pronounce canal (audio) \

Kids Definition of canal

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

canal

noun
ca·​nal | \ kə-ˈnal How to pronounce canal (audio) \

Medical Definition of canal

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on canal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with canal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for canal

Spanish Central: Translation of canal

Nglish: Translation of canal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of canal for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about canal

Comments on canal

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