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

Mesa firefighters rescued a woman whose car had plunged into a canal during a storm that blew through the area Monday afternoon. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Mesa firefighters rescue woman from car submerged in a canal," 9 July 2018 Finally, Boston Globe business reporter Jon Chesto joined us to talk about the frustration of Cape Cod business people about the seemingly never ending repairs and lane closures on the bridges over the canal. Bloomberg.com, "Bloomberg Baystate Business: Biotech, Bridges and GE," 20 Apr. 2018 Scheduled to open in 2019, the bridge would have provided safe passage over a canal and six lanes of traffic, and created a showpiece architectural feature connecting the campus of FIU with the community of Sweetwater, where many students live. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "FIU: Engineers met to discuss bridge crack on morning of collapse, determined 'no safety concerns'," 17 Mar. 2018 Ice was also seen on elevated portions of Earhart Expressway, and the portions of Veterans Memorial Boulevard over canals, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office. Greg Larose, NOLA.com, "I-10, other New Orleans metro roads, bridges stay closed with another hard freeze ahead," 17 Jan. 2018 The woman's car veered into a canal near Alma School Road south of the Loop 202 freeway in north Mesa, according to the Mesa Fire Department. Chris Coppola, azcentral, "Mesa firefighters rescue woman from car submerged in a canal," 9 July 2018 On Thursday, police found human remains in a box along a Broward County canal. Charles Rabin, miamiherald, "Human parts in box by canal are missing Miami woman, cops suspect. Husband jailed," 15 June 2018 Last week, a small male pilot whale was found struggling, unable to swim or breathe, in a Thai canal near the Malaysia border. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "How This Whale Got Nearly 20 Pounds of Plastic in Its Stomach," 4 June 2018 Thailand's Department of Marine and Coastal Resources said the small pilot whale was found last Monday in a canal near Thailand's border with Malaysia. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Whale dies in Thailand after eating more than 80 plastic bags," 4 June 2018

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

11 Mar 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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