an artificial waterway for navigation, irrigation, etc.
a long narrow arm of the sea penetrating far inland.
a tubular passage or cavity for food, air, etc., especially in an animal or plant; a duct.
channel; watercourse.
Astronomy. one of the long, narrow, dark lines on the surface of the planet Mars, as seen telescopically from the earth.
verb (used with object), canalled or canaled, canalling or canaling.
to make a canal through.

1400–50; late Middle English: waterpipe, tubular passage < Latin canālis, perhaps equivalent to can(na) reed, pipe (see cane) + -ālis -al1; def. 5 a mistranslation of Italian canali channels, term used by G. V. Schiaparelli Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To canal
World English Dictionary
canal (kəˈnæl)
1.  an artificial waterway constructed for navigation, irrigation, water power, etc
2.  any of various tubular passages or ducts: the alimentary canal
3.  any of various elongated intercellular spaces in plants
4.  astronomy any of the indistinct surface features of Mars originally thought to be a network of channels but not seen on close-range photographs. They are caused by an optical illusion in which faint geological features appear to have a geometric structure
vb , -nals, -nalling, -nalled, -nals, -naling, -naled
5.  to dig a canal through
6.  to provide with a canal or canals
[C15 (in the sense: pipe, tube): from Latin canālis channel, water pipe, from canna reed, cane1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

early 15c., from Fr. canal (12c.), noun use of an adj., from L. canalis "water pipe, groove, channel," from canna "reed." Originally "a pipe for liquid," its sense transfered by 1670s to "artificial waterway."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

canal ca·nal (kə-nāl')
A duct, a channel, or a tubular structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature