[ ruhn-l ]
See synonyms for runnel on
  1. a small stream; brook; rivulet.

  2. a small channel, as for water.

Origin of runnel

First recorded in 1570–80; run (in the sense “small stream”) + -el diminutive suffix
  • Also run·let [ruhn-lit]. /ˈrʌn lɪt/.

Words Nearby runnel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use runnel in a sentence

  • Clear water trickled through a wooden runnel into a great stone trough outside near the door.

    The White Peacock | D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • Thus it is possible that a runnel of the blood of "le grand monarque" tripped through Burton's veins.

  • It took me the whole day to reach the patch,—which I found indeed a forest—but not a rudiment of brook or runnel had I crossed!

    Lilith | George MacDonald
  • Peebles had disappeared; Dake lay in his rags on the ground; runnel rocked slowly, like a pendulum, in his ceaseless pain.

    The Happy End | Joseph Hergesheimer
  • And I stood on the curb watching the iridescent ooze of the sewage in a runnel of the street seep along like a sick snake.

    Children of the Market Place | Edgar Lee Masters

British Dictionary definitions for runnel


/ (ˈrʌnəl) /

  1. literary a small stream

Origin of runnel

C16: from Old English rynele; related to run

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012