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An alteration of an earlier form rinel (from Old English rynel, by assimilation with run, equivalent to run +‎ -el.



runnel ‎(plural runnels)

  1. A small stream, a rivulet.
    • 1998, great chambers in the rock where all sorts of plants were growing, under windows which had been cut to let in the sun, and glazed to adjust his warmth, and where runnels of water ran between fruit trees and seedlings — AS Byatt, Elementals

Derived terms[edit]


runnel ‎(third-person singular simple present runnels, present participle (UK) runnelling or (US) runneling, simple past and past participle (UK) runnelled or (US) runneled)

  1. To create channels for directing the flow of liquid.
    • 2009, Neil Saintilan, Australian Saltmarsh Ecology, ISBN 0643098593, page 176:
      Not all saltmarshes are suited to habitat modification, but where they are, runnelling provides long-term and cost-effective control with minor non-target impacts.
    • 2014, Paul Salopek, Blessed. Cursed. Claimed., National Geographic (December 2014)[1]
      The people who settled here weren’t farmers. They hunted. Yet they built a large amphitheater of mud, a platform carefully runneled to carry liquid—possibly blood.