Definition of tunnel noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈtʌnl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtʌnl//
    Features of roads, Railway tracks and stations
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  1. 1  a passage built underground, for example to allow a road or railway/railroad to go through a hill, under a river, etc. a railway/railroad tunnel the Channel Tunnel see also wind tunnel See related entries: Features of roads, Railway tracks and stations
  2. 2an underground passage made by an animal
  3. Word Originlate Middle English (in the senses ‘tunnel-shaped net’ and ‘flue of a chimney’): from Old French tonel, diminutive of tonne ‘cask’. The current noun senses date from the mid 18th cent.Extra examples A service tunnel runs between the two buildings. Adriana hid in the tunnel connecting the house with the stables. The badger sett had twelve entrances to what must have been a labyrinth of tunnels. The initial section of tunnel had to be dug by hand. The train disappeared into a tunnel. The tunnel opened out into a large cavern. They’ve built a new tunnel through the mountain. We got lost in the maze of tunnels. a tunnel leading into the hill a vast network of secret underground tunnels a wind tunnel for aerodynamic experiments the end of the long, winding tunnel the tunnel system below the buildingIdioms
    light at the end of the tunnel
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    something that shows you are nearly at the end of a long and difficult time or situation
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tunnel