early 15c., from French canal, chanel "water channel, tube, pipe, gutter" (12c.), from Latin canalis "water pipe, groove, channel," noun use of adjective from canna "reed" (see cane). Originally in English "a pipe for liquid," its sense transferred by 1670s to "artificial waterway."
canal ca·nal (kə-nāl')
A duct, a channel, or a tubular structure.