an underground passage.
a passageway, as for trains or automobiles, through or under an obstruction, as a city, mountain, river, harbor, or the like.
an approximately horizontal gallery or corridor in a mine.
the burrow of an animal.
Dialect. a funnel.
verb (used with object), tunneled, tunneling or (especially British) tunnelled, tunnelling.
to construct a passageway through or under: to tunnel a mountain.
to make or excavate (a tunnel or underground passage): to tunnel a passage under a river.
to move or proceed by or as if by boring a tunnel: The river tunneled its way through the mountain.
to pierce or hollow out, as with tunnels.
verb (used without object), tunneled, tunneling or (especially British) tunnelled, tunnelling.
to make a tunnel or tunnels: to tunnel through the Alps.

1400–50; late Middle English tonel (noun) < Middle French tonele, tonnelle funnel-shaped net, feminine of tonnel cask, diminutive of tonne tun; see -elle

tunneler; especially British, tunneller, noun
tunnellike, adjective
subtunnel, noun
untunneled, adjective
untunnelled, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tunnel (ˈtʌnəl)
1.  an underground passageway, esp one for trains or cars that passes under a mountain, river, or a congested urban area
2.  any passage or channel through or under something
3.  a dialect word for funnel
4.  obsolete the flue of a chimney
vb , -nels, -nelling, -nelled, -nels, -neling, -neled
5.  (tr) to make or force (a way) through or under (something): to tunnel a hole in the wall; to tunnel the cliff
6.  (intr; foll by through, under, etc) to make or force a way (through or under something): he tunnelled through the bracken
[C15: from Old French tonel cask, from tonne tun, from Medieval Latin tonna barrel, of Celtic origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

c.1440, "funnel-shaped net for catching birds," from M.Fr. tonnelle "net," or tonel "cask," dim. of O.Fr. tonne "tun, cask for liquids," possibly from the same source as O.E. tunne (see tun). Sense of "tube, pipe" (1545) developed in Eng. and led to sense of "underground passage,"
which is first attested 1765, about five years after the first modern tunnel was built (on the Grand Trunk Canal in England). This sense subsequently has been borrowed into Mod.Fr. (1878). The earlier native word for this was mine. Meaning "burrow of an animal" is from 1873. The verb meaning "excavate underground" is first attested 1795. Tunnel vision first recorded 1949. The fig. phrase light at the end of the tunnel is attested from 1922.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tunnel tun·nel (tŭn'əl)
A passage located through or under a barrier.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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