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

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
Morris served as Ambassador to France during its Revolution, proposed the idea for the Erie Canal, and worked for the canal’s creation. Ian Frazier, The New Yorker, 15 July 2024 At peak, the canal’s limitations allow for a 50-foot draft to pass through. Glenn Taylor, Sourcing Journal, 12 July 2024
Verb
Ian also wrote about a third attempt by state lawmakers to pass a bill that would stop farms from sucking up so much water that canals buckle and drinking water wells run dry. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for canal 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'canal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 21 Jul. 2024.

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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