1 [guhn-l]
any small eellike blenny of the family Pholididae (Pholidae), especially Pholis gunnellus (rock gunnel) common in shallow waters of the North Atlantic.
Also called bracketed blenny.

1680–90; origin uncertain Unabridged


2 [guhn-l]
noun Nautical.

1425–75; Middle English. See gunwale Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gunnel1 (ˈɡʌnəl)
See also butterfish any eel-like blennioid fish of the family Pholidae, occurring in coastal regions of northern seas
[C17: of unknown origin]

gunnel2 (ˈɡʌnəl)
a variant spelling of gunwale
[C15: from gun + wale1 from its use to support guns]

gunwale or gunnel (ˈɡʌnəl)
1.  nautical the top of the side of a boat or the topmost plank of a wooden vessel
2.  full to the gunwales completely full; full to overflowing
gunnel or gunnel

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Encyclopedia Britannica


any of the long, eellike fishes of the family Pholidae (order Perciformes). Gunnels have a long, spiny dorsal fin running the length of the body and pelvic fins that, if present, are very small. About eight species are found in the northern regions of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. They usually live along shores. The species Pholis gunnellus, known as rock gunnel, butterfish (after its slipperiness), or rock eel, is a common European and eastern North American form. It is usually brownish with darker markings and up to about 30 cm (12 inches) long.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Fish can be brought up to the gunnel of the boat, but cannot be brought inside the boat.
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