canal

1 of 2

noun

ca·​nal kə-ˈnal How to pronounce canal (audio)
1
: a tubular anatomical passage or channel : duct
2
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

2 of 2

verb

canalled or canaled; canalling or canaling

transitive verb

: to construct a canal through or across

Example Sentences

Noun the Panama Canal opened a much easier and shorter passageway from the Atlantic to the Pacific
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The district board oversees the canal's operations and finances, setting water rates and property taxes in the three counties. Shaun Mckinnon, The Arizona Republic, 8 Nov. 2022 After it was dislodged from the canal's banks, Egyptian authorities demanded reimbursement for the costs associated with the rescue mission, and seized the ship under court order pending the result of negotiations with its owners. Harold Maass, The Week, 8 July 2021 In 2015, Egypt inaugurated a 35-km (nearly 22 miles) parallel waterway in the canal's northern section in a project that cost the country $8 billion. Hatem Maher, ABC News, 7 July 2021 The 1,300-foot-long, 220,000-ton ship turned and the bow went aground on the canal's eastern bank, the stern on the western bank. John Bacon, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2021 In Arizona, the CAP has absorbed almost all of the shortages so far, which means the district continues to face tough decisions about how to manage the water that continues to flow through the canal. Shaun Mckinnon, The Arizona Republic, 28 Oct. 2022 In 2021, 517 million tons of goods went through the canal, generating $2.1 billion in contributions to Panama’s National Treasury. Ken Silverstein, Forbes, 8 Aug. 2022 Anne Aitken says the kangaroo was likely saved from being attacked by the numerous bull sharks that inhabit the canal. Andrew Mark Miller, Fox News, 28 Oct. 2022 Sand deposition on the canal, however, was identified as a challenge. Azera Parveen Rahman, Quartz, 27 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1792, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near canal

Cite this Entry

“Canal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canal. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

canal

noun

ca·​nal
kə-ˈnal
1
: a tube-shaped bodily passage or channel : duct
2
: an artificial waterway for boats or for draining or irrigating land
3
: any of various faint narrow lines on the planet Mars seen through telescopes and formerly thought to be canals built by Martians

Medical Definition

canal

noun

ca·​nal kə-ˈnal How to pronounce canal (audio)
: a tubular anatomical passage or channel : duct see alimentary canal, haversian canal, inguinal canal

More from Merriam-Webster on canal

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