the bed of a stream, river, or other waterway.
Nautical. a navigable route between two bodies of water.
the deeper part of a waterway.
a wide strait, as between a continent and an island.
a course into which something may be directed:
He hoped to direct the conversation to a new channel.
a route through which anything passes or progresses:
channels of trade.
channels, the specific, prescribed, or official course or means of communication:
In an emergency he was able to reach the governor without going through channels.
a groove or furrow.
a means of access:
He considers the Senate a channel to the White House.

a flute in a column, especially one having no fillet between it and other flutes.
any of the prominent vertical grooves in a triglyph.

(in jazz or popular music) a bridge.
a frequency band of sufficient width for one- or two-way communication from or to a transmitter used for television, radio, CB radio, telephone, or telegraph communication.
Computers. a path for the transfer of signals or data within a computer or between a computer and its peripheral equipment.
Digital Technology.

feed (def 23):
Learn how to create your own web channel.
a Web page or website that distributes frequently updated content by means of a feed:
Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

either of the two signals in stereophonic or any single signal in multichannel sound recording and reproduction.
Cell Biology. a transient opening made by a protein embedded in a cell membrane, permitting passage of specific ions or molecules into or out of the cell:
calcium channel.
a tubular passage for liquids or fluids.
Building Trades.

any structural member, as one of reinforced concrete, having the form of three sides of a rectangle.
a number of such members:
channel in 100-foot lengths.
channel iron.

to convey through or as through a channel:
He channeled the information to us.
to direct toward or into some particular course:
to channel one’s interests.
to excavate as a channel.
to form a channel in; groove.
to become marked by a channel:
Soft earth has a tendency to channel during a heavy rain.
a horizontal timber or ledge built outboard from the side of a sailing vessel to spread shrouds and backstays outward.
a broad strait connecting two areas of sea
the bed or course of a river, stream, or canal
a navigable course through a body of water
(often pl) a means or agency of access, communication, etc: to go through official channels
a course into which something can be directed or moved: a new channel of thought

a band of radio frequencies assigned for a particular purpose, esp the broadcasting of a television signal
a path for an electromagnetic signal: a stereo set has two channels
a thin semiconductor layer between the source and drain of a field-effect transistor, the conductance of which is controlled by the gate voltage

a tubular or trough-shaped passage for fluids
a groove or flute, as in the shaft of a column

a path along which data can be transmitted between a central processing unit and one or more peripheral devices
one of the lines along the length of a paper tape on which information can be stored in the form of punched holes

short for channel iron
verb -nels, -nelling, -nelled (US) -nels, -neling, -neled
to provide or be provided with a channel or channels; make or cut channels in (something)
(transitive) to guide into or convey through a channel or channels: information was channelled through to them
to serve as a medium through whom the spirit of (a person of a former age) allegedly communicates with the living
(transitive) to exhibit the traits of (another person) in one’s actions
(transitive) to form a groove or flute in (a column, etc)
(nautical) a flat timber or metal ledge projecting from the hull of a vessel above the chainplates to increase the angle of the shrouds
the Channel, short for English Channel

early 14c., “bed of running water,” from Old French chanel “bed of a waterway; tube, pipe, gutter,” from Latin canalis “groove, channel, waterpipe” (see canal). Given a broader, figurative sense 1530s (of information, commerce, etc.); meaning “circuit for telegraph communication” (1848) probably led to that of “band of frequency for radio or TV signals” (1928). The Channel Islands are the French Îles Anglo-Normandes.

1590s, “to wear channels in,” from channel (n.). Meaning “convey in a channel” is from 1640s. Related: Channeled; channeling.

A specified frequency band for the transmission and reception of electromagnetic signals, as for television signals.

The part of a field effect transistor, usually U-shaped, through which current flows from the source to the drain. See more at field effect transistor.

A pathway through a protein molecule in a cell membrane that modulates the electrical potential across the membrane by controlling the passage of small inorganic ions into and out of the cell.

The bed or deepest part of a river or harbor.

A large strait, especially one that connects two seas.


A vein, usually in the crook of the elbow or the instep, favored for the injection of narcotics; main line (1950s+ Narcotics)


To lower the body of a car by opening channels around parts of the frame: Johnny Slash, the punk in wraparound shades, lusts for a chopped and channeled ’49 Merc (1950s+ Hot rodders)
To be a medium of communication for a unbodied spirit: Just some guy she channels for. Don’t worry, the viewers love him (1980s+)

(Or “chat room”, “room”, depending on the system in question) The basic unit of group discussion in chat systems like IRC. Once one joins a channel, everything one types is read by others on that channel. Channels can either be named with numbers or with strings that begin with a “#” sign and can have topic descriptions (which are generally irrelevant to the actual subject of discussion).
Some notable channels are “#initgame”, “#hottub” and “#report”. At times of international crisis, “#report” has hundreds of members, some of whom take turns listening to various news services and typing in summaries of the news, or in some cases, giving first-hand accounts of the action (e.g. Scud missile attacks in Tel Aviv during the Gulf War in 1991).
[Jargon File]

(1.) The bed of the sea or of a river (Ps. 18:15; Isa. 8:7). (2.) The “chanelbone” (Job 31:22 marg.), properly “tube” or “shaft,” an old term for the collar-bone.

In addition to the idiom beginning with channel


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