- 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
- Physics. a quantum-mechanical process by which a particle can pass through a potential energy barrier that is higher than the energy of the particle: first postulated to explain the escape of alpha particles from atomic nuclei.
Origin of tunnel effect
Examples from the Web for tunneling
For centuries, people have been tunneling into the landscape, which proved especially adept at hiding those fleeing persecution.The Secret Life of Cappadocia: Underground in the Turkish Rock Formations
August 22, 2013
Then the French spent the next ten days in tunneling to Steenstraate.
Then, armed with their shovels, they began the work of tunneling to the station.The White Desert
Courtney Ryley Cooper
“Brick and Jerry are tunneling this way,” said Hamp, to himself.The Camp in the Snow
William Murray Graydon
They occasionally did so, but the risk did not keep anyone from tunneling.Andersonville, Volume 3
Tunneling has been carried on quite extensively in the mining region.History of the State of California
John T. Frost
- 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
- physics the phenomenon in which an object, usually an elementary particle, tunnels through a potential barrier even though it does not have sufficient energy to surmount the barrier. It is explained by wave mechanics and is the cause of alpha decay, field emission, and certain conduction processes in semiconductors
Word Origin and History for tunneling
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.
- See quantum tunneling.
Idioms and Phrases with tunneling
see light at the end of the tunnel.