Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to channel: Chanel, YouTube Channel
To frequently change channels when watching television, especially for an extended period of time. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. After a long week of work, I like to just sit on the sofa and channel surf for a few hours.
The frequent changing of channels when watching television, especially for an extended period of time. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. I hate channel surfing. I can't understand why people don't just pick a program and watch it!
(all) great minds run in the same channel
Wise or intelligent people tend to have the same ideas or think in a similar way. Often used humorously regarding unremarkable thoughts occurring simultaneously between two or more people. Oh, you wanted to see the same film as me? All great minds run in the same channel, I guess!
change the channel
1. Literally, to switch from one television station (or "channel") to another. Never change the channel during the game! We might miss something! I'm not really paying attention to that show, so feel free to change the channel.
2. slang To introduce a different topic of discussion, usually intentionally. I changed the channel after that last remark made Jeff and Bill visibly tense.
channel (something) in(to) (something)
1. To force something, usually a liquid, to travel into something through a channel. We had to channel water in from the river after our pipes burst.
2. To allocate or give resources, such as money or time, to a particular venture or goal. How much money do you think the company would be willing to channel into this initiative?
3. To direct or release something, often energy or an emotion, into something else. With all the red paint, I'm not surprised to hear that the artist channeled a lot of anger into this piece. You need to channel your frustration into something positive. Come on a run with me.
See also: channel
channel (something) off
1. To remove or redirect something, usually a liquid, through a channel. You move things to higher ground while I try to channel some of this water off.
2. To squander resources, such as money or time. Look, the company won't give us any more money for this initiative if those guys keep channeling it off.
change the channel
Sl. to switch to some other topic of conversation. Just a minute. I think you changed the channel. Let's go back to the part about you owing me money. Let's change the channel here before there is a fight.
channel something in(to something)
1. Lit. to divert water or other liquid through a channel into something. The farmer channeled the irrigation water into the field.
2. Fig. to divert something, such as energy, money, effort, into something. The government channeled a great deal of money into rebuilding the inner part of the city. I can't channel any more of our workforce into this project.
See also: channel
channel something off
1. Lit. to drain off water or some other liquid through a channel. The front yard is flooded, and we will have to channel the water off. Let's channel off the water before it gets too deep.
2. Fig. to drain off or waste energy, money, effort, etc. Unemployment channeled their resources off. The war channeled off most of the resources of the country.
go through (the proper) channels
to use the proper procedure, working through the correct people and offices to get something done; to cooperate with a bureaucracy. I'm sorry. I can't help you. You'll have to go through the proper channels. I didn't get what I wanted because I didn't go through channels.
work through channels
Fig. to try to get something done by going through the proper procedures and persons. You can't accomplish anything around here if you don't work through channels. I tried working through channels, but it takes too long. This is an emergency.
Switching from one television station (channel) to another frequently, either to search for an interesting program or to keep track of several programs at once. For example, What did you see on TV last night?-Nothing much; I was just channel surfing. The term transfers the surfer's search for good waves to the viewer's search for programs. This practice became widespread with the use of remote-control devices for changing channels while remaining seated some distance from the television set. [1980s] A 1990s version is Internet surfing, a similar process for searching cyberspace.
go through channels
Use the correct procedure, especially in a hierarchy or bureaucracy. For example, You'll have to go through channels for approval of this expenditure. This term uses channel in the sense of "a conduit." [Mid-1900s]
great minds run in the same channel, all
Intelligent persons think alike or come up with similar ideas. For example, I see you brought your tennis racket-thank goodness for great minds. This term is often uttered (sometimes jokingly) when two persons seem to find the same answer simultaneously, and is frequently shortened. [Late 1500s]
change the channel
tv. to switch to some other topic of conversation. Let’s change the channel here before there is a fight.
channel hoppingand channel surfing and channel zapping
n. using a remote control to move quickly from one television channel to another, pausing only a short time on each channel. I wish you would stop channel hopping! He spends more time channel zapping than actually watching.
n. a person who practices channel hopping. My husband is a confirmed channel surfer. I can’t understand why he does it.