run·​nel ˈrə-nᵊl How to pronounce runnel (audio)

Example Sentences

the fugitive made use of local runnels to throw the bloodhounds off his scent
Recent Examples on the Web Water fun will be a big draw, whether observing the natural pond-like runnel feature or the chutes of tumbling water and inch-deep pools safe to play in. Dallas News, 15 Apr. 2022 Designed by Louis Kahn for Jonas Salk, who created the polio vaccine, the complex sits on a shelf above the Pacific, a symmetrical white piazza flanked by buildings that are angled like a theater’s wings and bisected by a narrow runnel. Justin Davidson, Curbed, 15 Mar. 2021 The road ran like a twisty runnel through fuchsia hedges and bright fields of buttercups and cow parsley, up to a pass among the 3,000-foot Slieve Mish mountains. New York Times, 12 Aug. 2019 In summer, runoff from cloudbursts etches into the softer limestones and sluices through the deep runnels. National Geographic, 19 Aug. 2019 Grouting crews fan out across the subways every night, looking for runnels down walls and stalactites of muck oozing from ceilings, patching up incursions that are closest to electrical components first. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, 12 Feb. 2018

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

Word History


alteration of Middle English rinel, from Old English rynel; akin to Old English rinnan to run — more at run

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of runnel was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near runnel

Cite this Entry

“Runnel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Challenging Standardized Test Words, Vol. 2

  • a pencil broken in half on top of a test answer sheet
  • The business’s new computer system proved not to be a panacea.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?