Meaning of TUNNEL in English


I. tun ‧ nel 1 W3 /ˈtʌnl/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: tonel 'barrel' , from tonne , from Medieval Latin tunna ]

1 . a passage that has been dug under the ground for cars, trains etc to go through:

a railway tunnel

the Channel Tunnel (=between England and France)

2 . a passage under the ground that animals have dug to live in

• • •



▪ a two-mile/1500-foot-long etc tunnel

A 250-metre-long tunnel provides access to all parts of the development.

▪ a dark tunnel

He peered uneasily down the dark tunnel at the end of the platform.

▪ a narrow tunnel

She ran down the narrow tunnel leading to the exit.

▪ an underground tunnel

The prisoners escaped through an underground tunnel.

▪ a rail/railway tunnel

the 15km long Gotthard railway tunnel

▪ a road tunnel

a road tunnel through the mountains

▪ the Channel Tunnel (=the tunnel under the sea between England and France)

They went by train via the Channel Tunnel.

■ phrases

▪ the roof of a tunnel

The roof of the tunnel was a foot above his head.

▪ the entrance to a tunnel/tunnel entrance

To the right was the entrance to a second tunnel.

■ verbs

▪ dig a tunnel

Burglars had dug a tunnel under the building in an attempted raid.

▪ build a tunnel

The contractors will start building the tunnel next month.

▪ a tunnel leads somewhere

The Greenwich Foot Tunnel leads under the RiverThames.

II. tunnel 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle tunnelled , present participle tunnelling British English , tunneled , tunneling American English ) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition, transitive]

1 . to dig a long passage under the ground

tunnel into/through/under

They were tunnelling into the mountainside.

tunnel your way under/through etc

The prisoners tunneled their way under the fence.

2 . if insects tunnel into something, they make holes in it

tunnel into

The grubs tunnel into the wood.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.