from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An artificial waterway or artificially improved river used for travel, shipping, or irrigation.
  • n. Anatomy A tube, duct, or passageway.
  • n. Astronomy One of the faint, hazy markings resembling straight lines on early telescopic images of the surface of Mars.
  • transitive v. To dig an artificial waterway through: canal an isthmus.
  • transitive v. To provide with an artificial waterway or waterways.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An artificial waterway, often connecting one body of water with another
  • n. A tubular channel within the body.
  • v. To dig an artificial waterway in or to (a place), especially for drainage
  • v. To travel along a canal by boat

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An artificial channel filled with water and designed for navigation, or for irrigating land, etc.
  • n. A tube or duct.
  • n. A long and relatively narrow arm of the sea, approximately uniform in width; -- used chiefly in proper names.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To intersect or cut with canals.
  • n. An artificial waterway for irrigation or navigation.
  • n. In architecture, a channel; a groove; a flute: thus, the canal of the volute is the channel on the face of the circumvolutions inclosed by a list in the Ionic capital.
  • n. In anatomy, a duet; a channel through which a fluid is conveyed or solids pass; a tubular cavity in a part, or a communication between parts. See duet.
  • n. In zoology, the name of sundry grooves, furrows, apertures, etc., as: the channels of various actinozoans;
  • n. the afferent and efferent pores of sponges;
  • n. the groove observed in different parts of certain univalve shells, and adapted for the protrusion of the long cylindrical siphon or breathing-tube possessed by those animals.
  • n. In botany, an elongated intercellular or intrafascicular space, either empty or containing sap, resin, or other substances.
  • n. Inferior, the inferior dental canal
  • n. Median, the canal in the superior maxillary bone containing the middle superior dental nerve
  • n. Posterior, the canal in the superior maxillary bone containing the posterior superior dental nerve.
  • n. The canalis incisivus on either side.
  • n. The canales incisivi with the anterior palatine canal in sense a.
  • n. The primitive common and continuous cavity of the brain and spinal cord, not infrequently more or less extensively obliterated in the latter, but in the former modified in the form of the several ventricles and other cavities.
  • n. Inferior, the channel in the inferior maxillary or lower jaw-bone, which transmits the inferior dental nerves and vessels
  • n. Posterior, one or more fine canals entering the superior maxillary bone about the middle of its posterior surface, and transmitting the posterior dental vessels and nerves.
  • n. One of the canaliculi lacrymales (which see, under canaliculus).
  • n. In echinoderms, a canal of which a part of the wall is formed by the ambulacral nerve and its connections; the track or trace of the ambulacral nerve and its connections.
  • n. Same as canaille, 2.
  • n. A long, narrow arm of the sea penetrating far inland: as, Lynn canal, Portland canal, etc.
  • n. The juice-canals or ultimate radicals of the lymph-vessels.
  • n. In sponges, all of the cavities of the body, taken collectively, traversed by the currents of water which nourish the sponge from the time they enter at the pores until they pass out at the osculum.
  • n. A channel which passes through the series of hemal arches beneath the backbone of a fish.
  • n. In sponges, one of the canals which are continuous with the paragastric cavity, as distinguished from an incurrent canal.
  • n. In ctenophorans, a branch of the perradial canal extending into the base of the corresponding tentacle.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (astronomy) an indistinct surface feature of Mars once thought to be a system of channels; they are now believed to be an optical illusion
  • n. long and narrow strip of water made for boats or for irrigation
  • n. a bodily passage or tube lined with epithelial cells and conveying a secretion or other substance
  • v. provide (a city) with a canal


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Partly French, channel, and partly Middle English, tube (from Medieval Latin canāle), both from Latin canālis, tube, channel, probably from canna, small reed; see cane.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin canālis ("channel; canal").


  • Before these impervious forest retreats were thus pierced, they could not have tasted human blood; for ages it must have been unknown to them, even by tradition; and if they taxed all other boats on the canal as they did, ours, a _canal share_ with them must be considerably above par, and highly profitable.

    Diary in America, Series One

  • This canal is actually a main street of the city just as it would be in Venice and was jammed with houses side by side and the houses were jammed with people.

    Around the World in 34 Days

  • An American tourist and writer once said: Usually a canal is a disfigurement, but the Rideau is different: it is a decorative feature and a source of endless entertainment.

    Canadian Cities of Romance

  • If, therefore, we suppose what we call a canal to be, not the canal proper, but the vegetation along its banks, the observed phenomena stand accounted for.


  • Cutting through farm fields, forests, and the outskirts of towns, the canal is used mainly by recreational boaters and state barges, and fishermen.

    A Hundred Miles on the Erie Canal

  • The visible decline in canal traffic has exacerbated their fears.


  • The $4.3 billion in canal fees the government received last year helped subsidize staples like bread; less revenue means less money to buy off the masses, and government officials fear a repeat of the bread riots that gripped northern Egypt in 2008.


  • Partial atrioventricular canal is the less severe form of this heart defect.

    Atrioventricular Canal Defects

  • Sometimes complete atrioventricular canal is diagnosed on a fetal ultrasound and/or echocardiogram.

    Atrioventricular Canal Defects

  • Partial atrioventricular canal is also called atrioventricular septal defect, or AVSD.

    Atrioventricular Canal Defects


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  • what would you give t'

    not be a civet?

    April 6, 2011

  • At least it's not civet.

    April 6, 2011

  • canal no.5: the afferent and efferent pores of sponges.

    April 6, 2011

  • "2. In architecture, a channel; a groove; a flute: thus, the canal of the volute is the channel on the face of the circumvolutions inclosed by a list in the Ionic capital."

    --Century Dictionary

    April 6, 2011