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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This could be event tracking, conversion tracking, funnel visualization or even screen recording. Douglas Karr, Forbes, 23 May 2022 That said, only 20% of entrepreneurs put consistent effort into all three funnel stages, and only 9% were investing capital in all of them. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 29 Apr. 2022 Rinse the pod holder and funnel before reassembling. Lauren Smith Mcdonough, Good Housekeeping, 15 Apr. 2022 Some funnel-web spiders have also been known to create colonies and hunt in packs. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 10 Mar. 2022 The hands-on kit comes with a beaker, a flask, three test tubes, goggles, a ruler, an eye dropper, a funnel, a measuring spoon and a real working scale, plus stickers and experiment cards. Danielle Directo-meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 2 May 2022 The new suite will debut on the Disney Wish this summer as a first-of-its-kind enclave in the forward funnel of the ship. Zachary Laks, CNN, 19 Apr. 2022 Among the items in the bag: BBs, a funnel, balloons, duct tape, electrical tape, plastic containers and a hook tool. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 30 Mar. 2022 The lens actually creates a funnel of light, with the photons all coming together at the neck. Jen Christiansen, Scientific American, 21 May 2013 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a previous interview, Stutts said in a recent interview that Alabama’s collective would not take outright donations from boosters to funnel to athletes in order to build the platform in a more sustainable and ethical way. Laine Higgins, WSJ, 20 May 2022 DeMaria said her children will funnel into Turpin High School. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, 1 May 2022 Hertz designed them to funnel rainwater and condensation into underground cisterns that double as foundations, providing a stylish way for the buildings to collect their own water. Justin Fenner, Robb Report, 30 Apr. 2022 Zanipatin said increasing penalties would funnel more low-level sellers into prison or jail and would disproportionately affect Black, brown and Indigenous people. Hannah Wileystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2022 Yet it is now being reworked to funnel all the discontents of the era into a set of right-wing school politics at the heart of the GOP's strategy for the coming midterm elections. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 17 Feb. 2022 Tens of millions of dollars in state and federal funding, much of it matched by private sector contributions, have gone into an array of education and training programs to funnel Connecticut workers into manufacturing jobs. Erica E. Phillips,, 31 Jan. 2022 The bustling beach on the north Oregon coast is hemmed in by Tillamook Head to the south and the mouth of the Necanicum River to the north, two geographical features that seem to funnel crowds into the town built between them. oregonlive, 30 Jan. 2022 City officials are using it to funnel resources into neighborhoods where the virus is surging, and hospitals are using it to make life-or-death decisions about which treatments to administer. New York Times, 19 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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 funell, fonel, borrowed from Anglo-French fonyle, borrowed from Old Occitan (Gascony, Périgord) fonilh, going back to early Medieval Latin fundibulum, shortened from Latin infundibulum, from infundere "to pour in, fill (with something poured in)" + -i- -i- + -bulum, instrumental suffix (going back to Indo-European *-dhlom) — more at infuse

Note: As noted by Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, the incidence of this Occitan word in English (and Anglo-French) is most likely due to commercial contacts between England and the wine merchants of the Bordeaux region.


verbal derivative of funnel entry 1

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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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Dictionary Entries Near funnel



funnel cake

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Last Updated

27 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Funnel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for funnel


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

More from Merriam-Webster on funnel

Nglish: Translation of funnel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of funnel for Arabic Speakers


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