Etymology
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channel (n.)

early 14c., "bed of a stream of 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 by 1530s: "that by which something passes or is transmitted" (of information, commerce, etc.); meaning "circuit for telegraph communication" (1848) probably led to that of "band of frequency for radio or TV signals" (1928).

Also "part of a sea making a passageway between land masses, a large strait" (1550s). English Channel is from 1825; the older name was British Channel (by 1730) or simply Channel (Shakespeare). John of Trevisa's Middle English translation of the encyclopedia De Proprietatibus Rerum (c. 1398) has frensshe see for "English Channel." The Channel Islands are the French Îles Anglo-Normandes.

channel (v.)

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

updated on October 31, 2017

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Definitions of channel from WordNet
1
channel (n.)
a path over which electrical signals can pass;
a channel is typically what you rent from a telephone company
Synonyms: transmission channel
channel (n.)
a passage for water (or other fluids) to flow through;
the fields were crossed with irrigation channels
gutters carried off the rainwater into a series of channels under the street
channel (n.)
a long narrow furrow cut either by a natural process (such as erosion) or by a tool (as e.g. a groove in a phonograph record);
Synonyms: groove
channel (n.)
a deep and relatively narrow body of water (as in a river or a harbor or a strait linking two larger bodies) that allows the best passage for vessels;
the ship went aground in the channel
channel (n.)
(often plural) a means of communication or access;
it must go through official channels
Synonyms: communication channel / line
channel (n.)
a bodily passage or tube lined with epithelial cells and conveying a secretion or other substance;
poison is released through a channel in the snake's fangs
Synonyms: duct / epithelial duct / canal
channel (n.)
a television station and its programs;
a satellite TV channel
surfing through the channels
they offer more than one hundred channels
Synonyms: television channel / TV channel
channel (n.)
a way of selling a company's product either directly or via distributors;
possible distribution channels are wholesalers or small retailers or retail chains or direct mailers or your own stores
Synonyms: distribution channel
2
channel (v.)
transmit or serve as the medium for transmission;
Synonyms: impart / conduct / transmit / convey / carry
channel (v.)
direct the flow of;
channel information towards a broad audience
channel (v.)
send from one person or place to another;
Synonyms: transmit / transfer / transport / channelize / channelise
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.