can·​a·​lize ˈka-nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce canalize (audio)
canalized; canalizing

transitive verb

: to provide with a canal or channel
: to make into or similar to a canal
: to provide with an outlet
especially : to direct into preferred channels

intransitive verb

: to flow in or into a channel
: to establish new channels

Examples of canalize in a Sentence

the director of the charity should be canalizing the flow of donations so that the money ends up where it is most needed
Recent Examples on the Web Some became conscious of the role a state could play in intervening in the economy in order to curb and canalize democracy. Zeev Sternhell, Slate Magazine, 7 Apr. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'canalize.' 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

1830, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of canalize was in 1830

Dictionary Entries Near canalize

Cite this Entry

“Canalize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


variants or British canalise
canalized or British canalised; canalizing or British canalising

transitive verb

: to drain (a wound) by forming channels without the use of tubes

intransitive verb

: to develop new channels (as new capillaries in a blood clot)
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