Meaning of “funnel” in the English Dictionary

"funnel" in British English

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funnelnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈfʌn.əl/ us /ˈfʌn.əl/

funnel noun [ C ] (TUBE)

an object that has a wide round opening at the top, sloping sides, and a narrow tube at the bottom, used for pouring liquids or powders into containers with narrow necks:

After you grind the coffee, use a funnel to pour it into the jar.

funnel noun [ C ] (ON A SHIP/TRAIN)

US also smokestack a vertical metal pipe on the top of a ship or steam train through which smoke comes out


uk /ˈfʌn.əl/ us /ˈfʌn.əl/ -ll- or US usually -l-

[ I or T, usually + adv/prep ] to put something, or to travel, through a funnel or something that acts like a funnel:

The wind funnels down these narrow streets.
The children funnelled along the corridor into the school hall.
If you funnel the oil into the engine, you're less likely to spill it.

[ T usually + adv/prep ] to send something directly and intentionally:

No one knows who has been funnelling weapons to the terrorists.

(Definition of “funnel” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"funnel" in American English

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funnelnoun [ C ]

us /ˈfʌn·əl/

funnel noun [ C ] (TUBE)

a tube with a wide opening at the top, sides that slope inward, and a narrow opening at the bottom, used for pouring liquids or powders into containers that have small openings:

Pour the batter through a funnel into hot oil.

funnelverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈfʌn·əl/ -l-, -ll-

funnel verb [ I/T ] (MOVE)

to move or be moved through a narrow space, or to put something in a place or use something for a particular purpose:

[ I ] The crowd funneled into the theater.
[ T ] We’ve been funneling our money into renovations.

(Definition of “funnel” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)