can·​a·​li·​za·​tion ˌka-nə-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce canalization (audio)
: an act or instance of canalizing
: a system of channels

Examples of canalization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In 2018, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, Jenniffer González Colón(R), announced the approval of $2.5 billion of federal funding for flood control projects, including the canalization and construction of levees along Rio Nigua in Salinas. Arelis R. Hernández, Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2022 Orbexilum stipulatum, also known as Falls-of-the-Ohio Scurf pea, hasn’t been seen since 1881, its habitat erased by the canalization of the Ohio River. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, 16 Apr. 2019

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

Word History

First Known Use

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of canalization was in 1825

Dictionary Entries Near canalization

Cite this Entry

“Canalization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants or British canalisation
: surgical formation of holes or canals for drainage without tubes
: natural formation of new channels in tissue (as formation of new blood vessels through a blood clot)
: establishment of new pathways in the central nervous system by repeated passage of nerve impulses
: the developmental buffering and homeostatic processes by which a particular kind of organism forms a relatively constant phenotype although individuals may have a variety of genotypes and environmental conditions may vary
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