- 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.
- 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.
- to make a tunnel or tunnels: to tunnel through the Alps.
Origin of tunnel
Examples from the Web for tunnel
The only catch—he never mined a thing and the tunnel led to a scenic ledge.
Over the next 36 years, he would dig a 2,087-foot tunnel that led absolutely nowhere.
After the tunnel was complete, Schmidt went about building a rail line through it.
For years, William Schmidt single-handedly dug a tunnel through a mountain to transport his gold-rush loot.
When the project was completed, Schmidt moved from the tunnel into town.
The dirt from the tunnel is washed for the joint account of the two companies.
Most of the mining is done in hydraulic and tunnel claims in deep hills.
She walked on and came into the road that leads to the tunnel.
She knew, of course, really that the tunnel was lit from end to end by electricity.
She walked back till she reached the tunnel under the highroad.
- an underground passageway, esp one for trains or cars that passes under a mountain, river, or a congested urban area
- any passage or channel through or under something
- a dialect word for funnel
- obsolete the flue of a chimney
- (tr) to make or force (a way) through or under (something)to tunnel a hole in the wall; to tunnel the cliff
- (intr; foll by through, under, etc) to make or force a way (through or under something)he tunnelled through the bracken
Word Origin and History for tunnel
mid-15c., "funnel-shaped net for catching birds," from Middle French tonnelle "net," or tonel "cask," diminutive of Old French tonne "tun, cask for liquids," possibly from the same source as Old English tunne (see tun).
Sense of "tube, pipe" (1540s) developed in English 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 French (1878). The earlier native word for this was mine. Meaning "burrow of an animal" is from 1873. Tunnel vision first recorded 1949. The figurative phrase light at the end of the tunnel is attested from 1922.
"excavate underground," 1795, from tunnel (n.).
- A passage located through or under a barrier.
Idioms and Phrases with tunnel
see light at the end of the tunnel.