Definition of the English Channel from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the English Channel

 
BrE
 
; NAmE
 
(also the Channel)
 
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the area of sea between southern England and northern France. Although it is so narrow at one point (20 miles/32 kilometres) that some people can swim across it and on a clear day it is possible to see Calais from Dover, it has always formed a physical and cultural barrier between Britain and the rest of Europe. The first person to swim the Channel was Captain Matthew Webb (1848-83) in 1875 and in 1926 an American, Gertrude Ederle became the first woman to do so.