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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old French chenel (French: canal, chenal), from Latin canalis


channel (plural channels)

  1. The physical confine of a river or slough, consisting of a bed and banks.
    The water coming out of the waterwheel created a standing wave in the channel.
  2. The natural or man-made deeper course through a reef, bar, bay, or any shallow body of water.
    • 2013 January 1, Nancy Langston, “The Fraught History of a Watery World”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 1, page 59:
      European adventurers found themselves within a watery world, a tapestry of streams, channels, wetlands, lakes and lush riparian meadows enriched by floodwaters from the Mississippi River.
    A channel was dredged to allow ocean-going vessels to reach the city.
  3. The navigable part of a river.
    We were careful to keep our boat in the channel.
  4. A narrow body of water between two land masses.
    The English Channel lies between France and England.
  5. That through which anything passes; means of conveying or transmitting.
    The news was conveyed to us by different channels.
    • Dalton
      The veins are converging channels.
    • Burke
      At best, he is but a channel to convey to the National Assembly such matter as may import that body to know.
  6. A gutter; a groove, as in a fluted column.
  7. (nautical, in the plural) Flat ledges of heavy plank bolted edgewise to the outside of a vessel, to increase the spread of the shrouds and carry them clear of the bulwarks.
  8. (electronics) A connection between initiating and terminating nodes of a circuit.
    The guard-rail provided the channel between the downed wire and the tree.
  9. (electronics) The narrow conducting portion of a MOSFET transistor.
  10. (communication) The part that connects a data source to a data sink.
    A channel stretches between them.
  11. (communication) A path for conveying electrical or electromagnetic signals, usually distinguished from other parallel paths.
    We are using one of the 24 channels.
  12. (communication) A single path provided by a transmission medium via physical separation, such as by multipair cable.
    The channel is created by bonding the signals from these four pairs.
  13. (communication) A single path provided by a transmission medium via spectral or protocol separation, such as by frequency or time-division multiplexing.
    Their call is being carried on channel 6 of the T-1 line.
  14. (broadcasting) A specific radio frequency or band of frequencies, usually in conjunction with a predetermined letter, number, or codeword, and allocated by international agreement.
    KNDD is the channel at 107.7 MHz in Seattle.
  15. (broadcasting) A specific radio frequency or band of frequencies used for transmitting television.
    NBC is on channel 11 in San Jose.
    • 2008, Lou Schuler, "Foreward", in Nate Green, Built for Show, page xi
      TV back then was five channels (three networks, PBS, and an independent station that ran I Love Lucy reruns), []
  16. (storage) The portion of a storage medium, such as a track or a band, that is accessible to a given reading or writing station or head.
    This chip in this disk drive is the channel device.
  17. (technic) The way in a turbine pump where the pressure is built up.
    The liquid is pressurized in the lateral channel.
  18. (business, marketing) A distribution channel
  19. (Internet) A particular area for conversations on an IRC network, analogous to a chatroom and often dedicated to a specific topic.
  20. (Internet) An obsolete means of delivering up-to-date Internet content.
    • 1999, Jeffrey S Rule, Dynamic HTML: The HTML Developer's Guide
      Netcaster is the "receiver" for channels that are built into Netscape 4.01 and later releases.
    • 1999, Margaret Levine Young, Internet: The Complete Reference
      To access channels in Windows 98, you don't have to go any farther than your desktop.
  21. A psychic or medium who temporarily takes on the personality of somebody else.
  • (narrow body of water between two land masses) passage, sound, strait
  • (for television) side (dated British, from when there were only two channels), station (US)
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


channel (third-person singular simple present channels, present participle channeling or channelling, simple past and past participle channelled or channeled)

  1. To direct the flow of something.
    We will channel the traffic to the left with these cones.
  2. To assume the personality of another person, typically a historic figure, in a theatrical or paranormal presentation.
    When it is my turn to sing karaoke, I am going to channel Ray Charles.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From chainwale


channel (plural channels)

  1. (nautical) The wale of a sailing ship which projects beyond the gunwale and to which the shrouds attach via the chains.