1. the bed of a stream, river, or other waterway.
  2. Nautical. a navigable route between two bodies of water.
  3. the deeper part of a waterway.
  4. a wide strait, as between a continent and an island.
  5. a course into which something may be directed: He hoped to direct the conversation to a new channel.
  6. a route through which anything passes or progresses: channels of trade.
  7. channels, the specific, prescribed, or official course or means of communication: In an emergency he was able to reach the governor without going through channels.
  8. a groove or furrow.
  9. a means of access: He considers the Senate a channel to the White House.
  10. Architecture.
    1. a flute in a column, especially one having no fillet between it and other flutes.
    2. any of the prominent vertical grooves in a triglyph.
  11. (in jazz or popular music) a bridge.
  12. a frequency band of sufficient width for one- or two-way communication from or to a transmitter used for television, radio, CB radio, telephone, or telegraph communication.
  13. Computers. a path for the transfer of signals or data within a computer or between a computer and its peripheral equipment.
  14. Digital Technology.
    1. feed(def 23): Learn how to create your own web channel.
    2. a web page or website that distributes frequently updated content by means of a feed: Subscribe to my YouTube channel.
  15. either of the two signals in stereophonic or any single signal in multichannel sound recording and reproduction.
  16. Cell Biology. a transient opening made by a protein embedded in a cell membrane, permitting passage of specific ions or molecules into or out of the cell: calcium channel.
  17. a tubular passage for liquids or fluids.
  18. Building Trades.
    1. any structural member, as one of reinforced concrete, having the form of three sides of a rectangle.
    2. a number of such members: channel in 100-foot lengths.
    3. channel iron.

verb (used with object), chan·neled, chan·nel·ing or (especially British) chan·nelled, chan·nel·ling.

  1. to convey through or as through a channel: He channeled the information to us.
  2. to direct toward or into some particular course: to channel one’s interests.
  3. to excavate as a channel.
  4. to form a channel in; groove.

verb (used without object), chan·neled, chan·nel·ing or (especially British) chan·nelled, chan·nel·ling.

  1. to become marked by a channel: Soft earth has a tendency to channel during a heavy rain.


  1. a broad strait connecting two areas of sea
  2. the bed or course of a river, stream, or canal
  3. a navigable course through a body of water
  4. (often plural) a means or agency of access, communication, etcto go through official channels
  5. a course into which something can be directed or moveda new channel of thought
  6. electronics
    1. a band of radio frequencies assigned for a particular purpose, esp the broadcasting of a television signal
    2. a path for an electromagnetic signala stereo set has two channels
    3. a thin semiconductor layer between the source and drain of a field-effect transistor, the conductance of which is controlled by the gate voltage
  7. a tubular or trough-shaped passage for fluids
  8. a groove or flute, as in the shaft of a column
  9. computing
    1. a path along which data can be transmitted between a central processing unit and one or more peripheral devices
    2. one of the lines along the length of a paper tape on which information can be stored in the form of punched holes
  10. short for channel iron

verb -nels, -nelling or -nelled or US -nels, -neling or -neled

  1. to provide or be provided with a channel or channels; make or cut channels in (something)
  2. (tr) to guide into or convey through a channel or channelsinformation was channelled through to them
  3. to serve as a medium through whom the spirit of (a person of a former age) allegedly communicates with the living
  4. (tr) to exhibit the traits of (another person) in one’s actions
  5. (tr) to form a groove or flute in (a column, etc)


  1. nautical a flat timber or metal ledge projecting from the hull of a vessel above the chainplates to increase the angle of the shrouds


  1. the Channel short for English Channel

v.1590s, “to wear channels in,” from channel (n.). Meaning “convey in a channel” is from 1640s. Related: Channeled; channeling. n.early 14c., “bed of running water,” from Old French chanel “bed of a waterway; tube, pipe, gutter,” from Latin canalis “groove, channel, waterpipe” (see canal). Given a broader, figurative sense 1530s (of information, commerce, etc.); meaning “circuit for telegraph communication” (1848) probably led to that of “band of frequency for radio or TV signals” (1928). The Channel Islands are the French Îles Anglo-Normandes.

  1. A specified frequency band for the transmission and reception of electromagnetic signals, as for television signals.
  2. The part of a field effect transistor, usually U-shaped, through which current flows from the source to the drain. See more at field effect transistor.
  3. A pathway through a protein molecule in a cell membrane that modulates the electrical potential across the membrane by controlling the passage of small inorganic ions into and out of the cell.
  4. The bed or deepest part of a river or harbor.
  5. A large strait, especially one that connects two seas.

In addition to the idiom beginning with channel

  • channel surfing
  • also see:

  • go through channels
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