fun·​nel | \ ˈfə-nᵊl How to pronounce funnel (audio) \

Definition of funnel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a utensil that is usually a hollow cone with a tube extending from the smaller end and that is designed to catch and direct a downward flow
b : something shaped like a funnel
2 : a stack or flue for the escape of smoke or for ventilation (as on a ship)


funneled also funnelled; funneling also funnelling

Definition of funnel (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to have or take the shape of a funnel
2 : to pass through or as if through a funnel or conduit the crowd funnels through the doors

transitive verb

1 : to form in the shape of a funnel funneled his hands and shouted through them
2 : to move to a focal point or into a conduit or central channel contributions were funneled into one account

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Synonyms for funnel

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of funnel in a Sentence

Noun the funnel cloud of a tornado Verb Winds funneled through the canyon. Smoke funneled up the chimney. The crowd funneled through the doors. He funneled the gas into the tank. They funneled money into the campaign. The information was being secretly funneled to the head of the organization.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Use a small funnel or make one out of a cone of paper to transfer into small containers. Judy Walker,, "Kits to make soup, cookies and more are welcome gifts from your kitchen: Labels included!," 25 Nov. 2020 Then, using your funnel to avoid spillage, fill each jar with halved tomatoes. Rachel Feltman, Popular Science, "How to can your favorite foods without dying," 13 Oct. 2020 Videos and photos showed a funnel forming in a plume of wildfire smoke near the U.S. 395 highway. Fox News, "Fire tornado warning grips California as wildfire explodes with 'extremely dangerous' conditions north of Tahoe," 16 Aug. 2020 Insert the silicone straw base into your wine bottle, and then pour the wine through its stainless steel and plastic funnel. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Wine aerators that make your favorite vino taste better, faster," 10 Dec. 2020 The menu for the holiday drive-thru includes candy cane cotton candy, gingerbread funnel cakes, cinnamon rolls and deep fried egg nog. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona State Fair's drive-thru food is back for the holidays with deep fried egg nog," 1 Dec. 2020 Venom dripped from the fangs, through the funnel and into a cup. Myles Karp, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Lab Saving the World From Snake Bites," 21 Oct. 2020 Jalebi are made with gram flour and sugar syrup and are little poured spirals that look similar to very small funnel cakes. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, "Penda, jalebi and more: Here's where you can find sweets for Diwali in metro Phoenix," 11 Nov. 2020 Nine food trucks from around the region have registered to attend the event, offering a variety of entrees from hot dogs to crabcakes and desserts from funnel cakes to ice cream., "Farm Museum set for final free Friday event, with food trucks, activities for kids," 29 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Susana Ramirez Orozco is accused of using a web of couriers to collect drug money in Cleveland and funnel it to Mexican banks to fuel large-scale drug operations. Laura Johnston, cleveland, "Why have Ohio’s daily coronavirus numbers become almost useless? This Week in the CLE," 30 Nov. 2020 Nokia paused its dividend a year ago to funnel more cash to research and development, and said payouts are likely to resume once its net cash position improves to about 2 billion euros. Kati Pohjanpalo,, "Nokia’s New CEO Will Do ‘Whatever It Takes’ on 5G, Shares Fall," 29 Oct. 2020 This includes remittances from migrants who funnel money from better-off nations to some of the poorest. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Poor countries avert worst of pandemic, but not its economic fallout," 23 Dec. 2020 The move is just the latest example of how secretive groups can funnel millions to a candidate in a tight race but not disclose their identity or their motive before the ballots are cast. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "Super PACs, billionaire donors, and out-of-state interest groups flood Georgia Senate runoffs," 21 Dec. 2020 Prosecutors say Ravenell used the law firm’s bank accounts to funnel and hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds and to make payments to attorneys retained by other members of the conspiracy. Washington Post, "Two prominent Md. lawyers accused of conspiring to block federal money laundering investigation," 18 Dec. 2020 But compared to the rest of the airport world, DFW is doing well because hometown carrier American Airlines continues to funnel a large percentage of traffic through North Texas. Dallas News, "DFW clings to the country’s busiest airport title in September, but the world is catching up," 25 Nov. 2020 Federal officials allege that Giusti used nonprofits like the Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation as an intermediary to funnel money from Recology to Nuru and Public Works. Michael Williams,, "Ex-Recology exec accused of funneling $1 million in bribes to Mohammed Nuru," 18 Nov. 2020 For the record, The Tribune makes no attempt to funnel its journalism through a partisan prism, though readers may have their own opinions on the question. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Sen. Mike Lee says KSL is too liberal, wants the LDS Church to sell it," 10 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'funnel.' 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 funnel


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1594, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for funnel


Middle English fonel, from Anglo-French fonyle, from Old Occitan fonilh, from Medieval Latin fundibulum, short for Latin infundibulum, from infundere to pour in, from in- + fundere to pour — more at found

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Time Traveler for funnel

Time Traveler

The first known use of funnel was in the 15th century

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Statistics for funnel

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Funnel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for funnel


How to pronounce funnel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of funnel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a device shaped like a hollow cone with a tube extending from the point
: something that is shaped like a funnel
: a large pipe on a ship through which smoke or steam comes out



English Language Learners Definition of funnel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to pass through a funnel or a narrow opening
: to send (something, such as money) to someone or something in usually an indirect or secret way


fun·​nel | \ ˈfə-nᵊl How to pronounce funnel (audio) \

Kids Definition of funnel

1 : a utensil usually shaped like a hollow cone with a tube extending from the point and used to catch and direct a downward flow
2 : a large pipe for the escape of smoke or for ventilation (as on a ship)


fun·​nel | \ ˈfən-ᵊl How to pronounce funnel (audio) \

Medical Definition of funnel

: a utensil that is usually a hollow cone with a tube extending from the smaller end and that is designed to catch and direct a downward flow — see büchner funnel

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