tunnel

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ear tunnel

1. A short, cylindrical piece of jewelry that is fitted to one's earlobe, stretching it in such a way as to create a visible opening through the flesh. I'm in support of all forms of body modification, but the thought of getting an ear tunnel still gives me the willies.
2. The visible opening through the flesh of the earlobe that results from such a piercing. I think she tried to stretch her ear tunnel too fast, and now it's pretty badly infected.
See also: ear, tunnel

tunnel through something

to make a tunnel or passageway through something or a group of people. Roger had to tunnel through the crowd to get to the rest room. The workers tunneled through the soft soil to reach the buried cable.
See also: tunnel

tunnel under someone or something

to dig a tunnel under someone or something. All the time she was standing in the yard talking about the moles, they were tunneling under her. They took many months to tunnel under the English Channel.
See also: tunnel

tunnel vision

 
1. Lit. a visual impairment wherein one can only see what is directly ahead of oneself. I have tunnel vision, so I have to keep looking from side to side.
2. Fig. an inability to recognize other ways of doing things or thinking about things. The boss really has tunnel vision about sales and marketing. He sees no reason to change anything.
See also: tunnel

(the) light at the end of the tunnel

the end of a difficult period or job At this point, there is no light at the end of the tunnel because we have to start over. Once I could see light at the end of the tunnel, writing the last part of the book wasn't so hard.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

light at the end of the tunnel

something which makes you believe that a difficult or unpleasant situation will end We're halfway through our exams now, so we can see light at the end of the tunnel . Unemployment is still rising but analysts assure us there is light at the end of the tunnel.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

light at the end of the tunnel

The end of a difficult situation or task, the solution to a difficult problem. For example, It's taken three years to effect this merger, but we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel . This metaphoric expression dates from the 1800s, but became widespread only in the mid-1900s.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

light at the end of the tunnel

The prospect of success, relief, or escape after strenuous effort.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel
References in classic literature ?
So after Good had rested a while, and we had drunk our fill of the water, which was sweet and fresh, and washed our faces, that needed it sadly, as well as we could, we started from the banks of this African Styx, and began to retrace our steps along the tunnel, Good dripping unpleasantly in front of us.
The Tin-soldier could already see daylight where the tunnel ended; but in his ears there sounded a roaring enough to frighten any brave man.
Benjamin Bunny came out of the dark tunnel, shaking the sand from his ears; he cleaned his face with his paws.
Aronnax, the Nautilus is going under the waves, and will not return to the surface until we have passed through the Arabian Tunnel.
And now, my readers, if ever I have any, I have brought you up the broad river, and through the screen of rushes, and down the green tunnel, and up the long slope of palm trees, and through the bamboo brake, and across the plain of tree-ferns.
The trend of the tunnel I had been traversing had been slightly upward, and from this I judged that the chamber into which I now found myself looking must be either on the first floor of the palace or directly beneath the first floor.
The tunnel had led straight, from where he had entered it beneath the side of the rock furthest from the unscaleable cliffs, toward the mighty barrier that had baffled him so long.
At length the tunnel opened and became a vault; she found herself trapped in it, bricks meeting her wherever she turned, alone with a little deformed man who squatted on the floor gibbering, with long nails.
Sometimes the tunnel was so narrow that the wheels of the buggy grazed the sides; then it would broaden out as wide as a street; but the floor was usually smooth, and for a long time they travelled on without any accident.
I want you to march this army through an underground tunnel, which I am going to bore, to the Emerald City of Oz.
To her surprise it slowly swung backward and showed behind it a dark hole that looked like the mouth of a tunnel.
Without thought of the possible consequence, I darted into the shadows of the tunnel, feeling my way along through the gloom for some distance.
He advanced quite to the dark mouth of the tunnel into which the runway disappeared; but here he halted, fearing to enter, lest he meet Tarzan returning.
His first glance within the cave revealed a narrow tunnel with daylight at its farther end.
The story was simple to him: good prospects that warranted the starting of the tunnel into the sidehill; the three months' work and the getting short of money; the lay-off while the men went away and got jobs; then the return and a new stretch of work, with the "pay" ever luring and ever receding into the mountain, until, after years of hope, the men had given up and vanished.