A channel is a passageway, a means of access for a thing, a communication, or an idea.

Think of a channel as sort of a tunnel or a funnel that moves something directly through. The noun channel can be used for many such avenues. It can mean a waterway such as the English Channel — the "Chunnel" is a tunnel beneath the Channel — or a means of accomplishing a goal, as in "going through legal channels." Use it as a verb when you channel your energies to achieve success.

Primary Meanings of channel

a deep and relatively narrow body of water (as in a river or a harbor or a strait linking two larger bodies) that allows the best passage for vessels
a path over which electrical signals can pass
transmit or serve as the medium for transmission
a way of selling a company's product either directly or via distributors
Full Definitions of channel

n a deep and relatively narrow body of water (as in a river or a harbor or a strait linking two larger bodies) that allows the best passage for vessels

“the ship went aground in the channel
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Harlem River
a channel separating Manhattan from the Bronx
English Channel
an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that forms a channel between France and Britain
Hampton Roads
a channel in southeastern Virginia through which the Elizabeth River and the James River flow into Chesapeake Bay
Mozambique Channel
an arm of the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and southeastern Africa
Windward Passage
a channel between eastern Cuba and western Haiti that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Caribbean Sea
Canakkale Bogazi
the strait between the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara that separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey
East River
a tidal strait separating Manhattan and the Bronx from Queens and Brooklyn
Verrazano Narrows
a narrow channel of water separating Staten Island and Brooklyn
Bering Strait
a strait connecting the Bering Sea to the Arctic Ocean
a strait connecting the Mediterranean and the Black Sea; separates the European and Asian parts of Turkey; an important shipping route
Cook Strait
a narrow strait separating the North Island and South Island in New Zealand
Golden Gate
a strait in western California that connects the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean; discovered in 1579 by Sir Francis Drake
a strait of the North Sea between Jutland and Sweden; connects with the North Sea through the Skagerrak
Korean Strait
a strait between Korea and Japan; connects the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan
Menai Strait
a strait in northern Wales between Anglesey Island and the mainland
North Channel
a strait between Northern Ireland and Scotland that connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea
a broad strait of the North Sea between Jutland and Norway
a strait of the English Channel between the coast of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Strait of Georgia
the strait separating Vancouver Island from the Canadian mainland
Strait of Gibraltar
the strait between Spain and Africa
Strait of Hormuz
a strategically important strait linking the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman
Strait of Magellan
the strait separating South America from Tierra del Fuego and other islands to the south of the continent; discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1520; an important route around South America before the Panama Canal was built
Strait of Messina
the strait separating Sicily from the tip of Italy
Strait of Calais
the strait between the English Channel and the North Sea; shortest distance between England and the European continent
Torres Strait
a strait between northeastern Australia and southern New Guinea that connects the Coral Sea with the Arafura Sea
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(astronomy) an indistinct surface feature of Mars once thought to be a system of channels; they are now believed to be an optical illusion
a narrow channel or strait
a small channel (as one formed by soil erosion)
sound, strait
a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water
a channel in which a tidal current runs
natural or artificial channel through which water flows
a narrow strait connecting two bodies of water
Type of:
body of water, water
the part of the earth's surface covered with water (such as a river or lake or ocean)

n a long narrow furrow cut either by a natural process (such as erosion) or by a tool (as e.g. a groove in a phonograph record)

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a rectangular groove cut into a board so that another piece can fit into it
flute, fluting
a groove or furrow in cloth etc (particularly a shallow concave groove on the shaft of a column)
a narrow groove beside a beading
rabbet, rebate
a rectangular groove made to hold two pieces together
a groove on a phonograph recording
a groove or furrow (especially one in soft earth caused by wheels)
stria, striation
any of a number of tiny parallel grooves such as: the scratches left by a glacier on rocks or the streaks or ridges in muscle tissue
the channel or break produced by erosion of relatively soft soil by water
Type of:
depression, impression, imprint
a concavity in a surface produced by pressing

n a passage for water (or other fluids) to flow through

“the fields were crossed with irrigation channels
“gutters carried off the rainwater into a series of channels under the street”
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gutter, trough
a channel along the eaves or on the roof; collects and carries away rainwater
a channel or gutter on either side of a ship's keelson; carries bilge water into the pump well
chute, slide, slideway, sloping trough
sloping channel through which things can descend
a gutter in a roof
Type of:
a way through or along which someone or something may pass

n a bodily passage or tube lined with epithelial cells and conveying a secretion or other substance

“poison is released through a channel in the snake's fangs”
canal, duct, epithelial duct
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any small opening in the skin or outer surface of an animal
canalis vertebralis, spinal canal, vertebral canal
the canal in successive vertebrae through which the spinal cord passes
ductule, ductulus
a very small duct
a small canal or duct as in some bones and parts of plants
Schlemm's canal, canal of Schlemm, sinus venosus sclerae
a circular canal in the eye that drains aqueous humor from the anterior chamber of the eye into the anterior ciliary veins
sinus, venous sinus
a wide channel containing blood; does not have the coating of an ordinary blood vessel
lachrymal duct, lacrimal duct, tear duct
any of several small ducts that carry tears from the lacrimal glands
nasolacrimal duct
a duct that carries tears from the lacrimal sac to the nasal cavity
Haversian canal
any of the many tiny canals that contain blood vessels and connective tissue and that form a network in bone
hepatic duct
the duct that drains bile from the liver
canalis inguinalis, inguinal canal
oblique passage through the lower abdominal wall; in males it is the passage through which the testes descend into the scrotum and it contains the spermatic cord; in females it transmits the round ligament of the uterus
bile duct, common bile duct
a duct formed by the hepatic and cystic ducts; opens into the duodenum
pancreatic duct
a duct connecting the pancreas with the intestine
lymph vessel, lymphatic vessel
a vascular duct that carries lymph which is eventually added to the venous blood circulation
salivary duct
a duct through which saliva passes from the salivary gland into the mouth
Sylvian aqueduct, aqueductus cerebri, cerebral aqueduct
a canal connecting the third and fourth ventricles
either of a pair of thick-walled tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder
duct through which urine is discharged in most mammals and which serves as the male genital duct
canalis cervicis uteri, cervical canal
a spindle-shaped canal extending from the uterus to the vagina
umbilical, umbilical cord
membranous duct connecting the fetus with the placenta
the lower part of the female reproductive tract; a moist canal in female mammals extending from the labia minora to the uterus
a convoluted tubule in each testis; carries sperm to vas deferens
ductus deferens, vas deferens
a duct that carries spermatozoa from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct
ejaculatory duct
a part of the seminal duct formed by the duct from the seminal vesicle and the vas deferens; passes through the prostate gland
cartilaginous tube
a duct with cartilaginous walls
any of the smallest bronchial ducts; ending in alveoli
GI tract, alimentary canal, alimentary tract, digestive tract, digestive tube, gastrointestinal tract
tubular passage of mucous membrane and muscle extending about 8.3 meters from mouth to anus; functions in digestion and elimination
lactiferous duct
ducts of the mammary gland that carry milk to the nipple
cavernous sinus, sinus cavernosus
either of a pair of large venous sinuses in the cranial cavity
coronary sinus, sinus coronarius
a short sinus receiving most of the veins of the heart; empties into the right atrium
sigmoid sinus, sinus sigmoideus
an S-shaped dural sinus on the temporal and occipital bones
sinus rectus, straight sinus, tentorial sinus
an unpaired sinus of the dura mater
sinus transversus, transverse sinus
a paired dural sinus; terminates in the sigmoid sinus
sweat duct
a small duct that conveys sweat from a sudoriferous gland to the surface of the skin
biliary ductule
excretory ducts of the liver; empty into the hepatic ducts
thoracic duct
the major duct of the lymphatic system
any of the lymphatic vessels that convey chyle from the small intestine to the thoracic duct
bronchial tube, bronchus
either of the two main branches of the trachea
trachea, windpipe
membranous tube with cartilaginous rings that conveys inhaled air from the larynx to the bronchi
the alimentary canal (especially of an embryo or a coelenterate)
a small pore especially one in the reproductive bodies of certain algae and fungi through which spores pass
Type of:
passage, passageway
a path or channel or duct through or along which something may pass

n a path over which electrical signals can pass

“a channel is typically what you rent from a telephone company”
transmission channel
Type of:
communication by means of transmitted signals

n a television station and its programs

“surfing through the channels
“they offer more than one hundred channels
TV channel, television channel
Type of:
TV station, television station
station for the production and transmission of television broadcasts

n (often plural) a means of communication or access

“it must go through official channels
communication channel, line
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back channel
an alternative to the regular channels of communication that is used when agreements must be made secretly (especially in diplomacy or government)
(metaphor) a channel through which something can be seen or understood
contact, inter-group communication, liaison, link
a channel for communication between groups
line of gab, patter, spiel
plausible glib talk (especially useful to a salesperson)
Type of:
communicating, communication
the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information

v transmit or serve as the medium for transmission

carry, conduct, convey, impart, transmit
carry, convey, express
serve as a means for expressing something
be conveyed over a certain distance
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wash up
carry somewhere (of water or current or waves)
pipe in
bring in through pipes
bring in
transmit again
Type of:
bring, convey, take
take something or somebody with oneself somewhere

v send from one person or place to another

channelise, channelize, transfer, transmit, transport
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bring, convey, fetch, get
go or come after and bring or take back
transfer (ideas or principles) from one domain into another
bring to a certain spiritual state
release, turn
let (something) fall or spill from a container
send, send out
to cause or order to be taken, directed, or transmitted to another place
run after, pick up, and bring to the master
go for and bring back
release contained air or gas from
throw (a die) out onto a flat surface
send in
mail in; cause to be delivered
mail out
transmit by mail
get off, mail
send via the postal service
bring to a destination, make a delivery
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v direct the flow of

channel information towards a broad audience”
canalise, canalize
Type of:
channelise, channelize, direct, guide, head, maneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre, point, steer
direct the course; determine the direction of travelling

n a way of selling a company's product either directly or via distributors

“possible distribution channels are wholesalers or small retailers or retail chains or direct mailers or your own stores”
distribution channel
Type of:
the commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service

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