- 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 tunnelling
I knew that by tunnelling either way I should gain no advantage.
The possibility of tunnelling in a vertical direction was now apparent.
It is a low-grade ore, I should say, and tunnelling and shoring would eat it up.Peter
F. Hopkinson Smith
We are tunnelling into the mountains, where are the great deposits of coal.The Lady of the Shroud
This tunnelling is also called "sapping" and the tunnel itself a sap.The Romance of War Inventions
Thomas W. Corbin
- 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 tunnelling
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 tunnelling
see light at the end of the tunnel.