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 For its third-season premiere, 9-1-1 is wiping out the Santa Monica Pier with a massive tsunami — and firefighter Buck (Oliver Stark) is among those dropping the funnel cake and running for dear life. Tim Stack,, "9-1-1 shot in the same water tanks as Titanic for its season 3 tsunami," 22 Sep. 2019 An area of spray surrounds the column of water, from the strength of the funnel lifting water from the surface. Laura Johnston,, "Waterspouts pop up in Lake Erie; forecast calls for more possible," 7 Aug. 2019 Here's a picture of the funnel reported in the Kersey, Platteville, and LaSalle area in Weld County. Elise Schmelzer, The Denver Post, "Three funnel clouds reported in Weld County though meteorologists say there’s little potential for tornadoes," 23 June 2019 Tornadoes are vertical funnels of rapidly spinning air. Ron Johnson, National Geographic, "THE BEST OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX," 28 Aug. 2019 But freedom’s just another word for your dad slipping you a $20 for funnel cake. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "When the Creepy Carnival Comes to Town," 12 Aug. 2019 The funnel took place near Grand Lake, west of Rocky Mountain National Park. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Rare funnel cloud spotted near Rocky Mountain National Park," 25 July 2019 The 142-foot, 700-ton rocket rose on a funnel of fire, ripping through the air perfectly straight and surprisingly fast before vanishing into a thick bank of clouds. Hari Kumar,, "India launches Chandrayaan-2 moon mission on second try," 22 July 2019 Seed/early-stage VCs should widen the funnel of entrepreneurial ventures receiving funding support. Leonard Sherman, WIRED, "'Blitzscaling' Is Choking Innovation—and Wasting Money," 11 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When forced to choose between parks, congress funneled funds into Yellowstone and removed Platt’s national park designation. National Geographic, "Beat the crowds at these abandoned U.S. national parks," 9 Nov. 2019 Nearly three dozen vendors will offer everything from banh mi, chicken and waffles and empanadas to funnel cakes and fruit pops. Michael Cabanatuan,, "Will strict security measures spoil the fun at Hardly Strictly? Hardly, fans say," 4 Oct. 2019 Wesson and Gurley run DEFT with the idea of inventing products, spinning them off into separate companies, and then funneling profits back into new product and company creation. William Thornton |, al, "Startup Moxie aims at Internet-of-Things market," 27 Sep. 2019 This year, instead of targeting only tobacco-friendly Republicans, Juul has started funneling money toward Democrats and supporting groups like the Congressional Black Caucus PAC. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "How Juul Hooked Kids and Ignited a Public Health Crisis," 19 Sep. 2019 Every sale funnels proceeds back into the land, increasing its economic power. Jessica L. Yarbrough, Vogue, "Beauty Brands Are Taking Action for the Amazon—Here’s How You Can Too," 26 Aug. 2019 The invoices were often for work that wasn’t actually done, and Beck funneled the money back to himself, according to the indictment. James Salzer, ajc, "Feds release new charges against suspended Georgia commissioner Beck," 14 Aug. 2019 In the suit, Fehn accused the duo of telling him money from merchandise and touring is funneled through one sole company that splits profits and pays the band. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Slipknot's Corey Taylor & Shawn Crahan Respond to Former Drummer's Lawsuit," 13 Sep. 2019 Details about the wire transfers, including some that authorities say were funneled through Swiss bank accounts, were released as part of a new court filing by Attorney General James in the ongoing lawsuit. Nicole Chavez, CNN, "New York attorney general exposes $1 billion in wire transfers by Sackler family," 13 Sep. 2019

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 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Funnel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on funnel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for funnel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with funnel

Spanish Central: Translation of funnel

Nglish: Translation of funnel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of funnel for Arabic Speakers

Comments on funnel

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