tunnel

noun
tun·nel | \ˈtə-nᵊl \

Definition of tunnel 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a covered passageway specifically : a horizontal passageway through or under an obstruction

b : a subterranean gallery (as in a mine)

c : burrow

2 : a hollow conduit or recess : tube, well

tunnel

verb
tunneled or tunnelled; tunneling or tunnelling\ˈtən-liŋ, ˈtə-nᵊl-iŋ \

Definition of tunnel (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make or use a tunnel

2 physics : to pass through a potential barrier electrons tunneling through an insulator between semiconductors

transitive verb

: to make a tunnel or similar opening through or under also : to make (one's way) by or as if by making a tunnel

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Other Words from tunnel

Noun

tunnellike \ˈtə-nᵊl-ˌ(l)īk \ adjective

Verb

tunneler \ˈtən-lər, ˈtə-nᵊl-ər \ noun

Examples of tunnel in a Sentence

Noun

The train goes through a tunnel in the mountain. The moles dug tunnels in the yard.

Verb

Workers are tunneling through the hill. Insects had tunneled into the tree.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Trolley-goers be warned: SEPTA will shut down its Center City trolley tunnel starting at 10 a.m. on Friday through Monday, July 23 to complete its annual maintenance blitz. Oona Goodin-smith, Philly.com, "Families of Cosmo DiNardo murder victims speak out, Pa. to pay $2M to fight teacher shortage | Morning Newsletter," 13 July 2018 The tunnel operation would be more fish-friendly with modern screening. George Skelton, latimes.com, "What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?," 12 July 2018 Hidden inside a false compartment in the exhaust tunnel troopers found 2 kilograms of suspected heroin, court documents said. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "2 arrested in Indian Hill, suspected of trafficking 2 kilos of heroin," 11 July 2018 Welcome to Maryland’s closest thing to a baseball city: Ripken Stadium may be the centerpiece, but there’s also Ripken Academy, complete with eight more baseball diamonds as well as pitching and batting practice tunnels. Chris Kaltenbach, baltimoresun.com, "A guide to visiting all of Maryland's minor league ballparks," 10 July 2018 Critics of the project say the massive underground tunnels would do more harm to the Delta, not less. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "Southern California water agency agrees to spend $11 billion on Delta tunnels - again," 10 July 2018 To help convey the on-ride narrative, Disney closed off the sides and extended the coaster’s existing three tunnels. Arthur Levine, USA TODAY, "Disneyland's new Pixar Pier: Is it Incredible?," 10 July 2018 Musk also brainstormed on Twitter about possible technology for a safe evacuation, suggesting that an air tunnel constructed with soft tubing like a Bouncy Castle could provide flexible passage out. NBC News, "Thai soccer coach apologizes and boys send love to family in letter from cave," 7 July 2018 Musk also brainstormed on Twitter about possible technology for a safe evacuation, suggesting that an air tunnel constructed with soft tubing like a Bouncy Castle could provide flexible passage out. Author: Tassanee Vejpongsa, Kaweewit Kaewjimda, Anchorage Daily News, "Thai diver dies in effort to rescue boys soccer team from cave," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Boring Company promises to build tunnels faster and more cheaply than is currently the norm, partly by improving tunnelling machines, and partly by just making narrower tunnels. David Meyer, Fortune, "Elon Musk Offers Free Rides in His New Boring Tunnel," 11 May 2018 Musk’s tunneling startup Boring Co. could potentially make available its massive drills or excavation expertise, but such an approach could be too dangerous for this mission. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Elon Musk Is Sending Engineers to Thailand to Help Rescue the Boys Stuck in a Cave," 6 July 2018 Beckman said someone used an unknown tool to cut through an exterior wall and tunneled into the business. Hannah Fry, latimes.com, "Police search for man suspected of tunneling into Costa Mesa pharmacy and stealing drugs and cash," 25 June 2018 Elon Musk and Mayor Rahm Emanuel announce plans to tunnel with Musk's Boring Company for high-speed transit to O'Hare International Airport in the unfinished station under Block 37 on June 14, 2018. Mary Wisniewski, chicagotribune.com, "Elon Musk's plans for O'Hare express draw skepticism," 14 June 2018 Musk’s companies could help by trying to locate the boys’ precise location (Space Exploration Technologies), excavating and pumping water (tunneling startup Boring Co.) or providing heavy-duty battery packs (Tesla’s Powerwalls). Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: EPA chief Scott Pruitt is the seventh cabinet-level person to leave the Trump administration," 6 July 2018 The sunshine also spurred a lot of growth, with brush and wildflowers growing tall and tunneling the ridgeline hike until the Junior Pole. Author: Kat Sorensen, Anchorage Daily News, "Mount Marathon race trail has it all: snow, lush vegetation, flowing water and lots of dust," 3 July 2018 When the eggs hatch, larvae enter the leaves and begin to tunnel between the leaf surfaces. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Strange happenings among citrus trees," 29 June 2018 Musk founded the company in the hope of alleviating city gridlock by building more tunnels, an endeavor that has set the company's engineers toward improving tunneling techniques. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Chicago selects Elon Musk’s Boring Company to build express line from O‘Hare," 14 June 2018

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

Noun

1508, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1795, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for tunnel

Noun

Middle English tonel cask, tun, from Anglo-French, from tone tun

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Phrases Related to tunnel

a light at the end of the tunnel

Statistics for tunnel

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tunnel

The first known use of tunnel was in 1508

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More Definitions for tunnel

tunnel

noun

English Language Learners Definition of tunnel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a passage that goes under the ground, through a hill, etc.

tunnel

verb

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

: to make a tunnel

tunnel

noun
tun·nel | \ˈtə-nᵊl \

Kids Definition of tunnel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a passage under the ground

tunnel

verb
tunneled or tunnelled; tunneling or tunnelling

Kids Definition of tunnel (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a passage under the ground

tunnel

noun
tun·nel | \ˈtən-ᵊl \

Medical Definition of tunnel 

: a bodily channel — see carpal tunnel

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Comments on tunnel

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