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

see the light at the end of the tunnel

To conceptualize or foresee an end to something difficult or unpleasant; to be relatively near to the end or conclusion of some problem or difficulty. I've been working on this book for over a year, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now that the doctors have been able to diagnose what's wrong with me, we might finally be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
See also: end, light, of, see, tunnel

light at the end of the tunnel

The end to something difficult or unpleasant. I've been working on this book for over a year, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now that the doctors have been able to diagnose what's wrong with me, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

tunnel vision

1. A condition in which one's field of vision narrows to a point directly in front of one's eyes, without the ability to see peripherally. I started getting tunnel vision from such a rapid change in altitude.
2. A tendency, habit, or conscious decision to only focus one's energy or attention on a single particular thing or aspect, without regard for anything or anyone else. Tom tends to get tunnel vision when he starts working on a new project, so I wouldn't be surprised if we don't hear from him for a while. The only way I can complete my novels is if I have total tunnel vision while writing, which has had some disastrous effects on my relationships.
See also: 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: through, 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

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

COMMON If there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is hope that a difficult situation might be coming to an end. After horrific times we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. People feel hopeless. They don't see any light at the end of the tunnel.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

tunnel vision

COMMON If someone has tunnel vision, they use all their energy and skill on something that is important to them and ignore other important things. Unfortunately, government departments tend to exhibit extreme tunnel vision. It is often beyond their capacity to appreciate or support something if it benefits more than one department. Note: This expression can also be used to show admiration for someone who has achieved a lot by concentrating on a single thing. They always say that you have to have tunnel vision to be a champion. You can't have any outside distractions at all. Note: You can also use tunnel-vision before a noun. The experts sometimes have a bureaucratic, tunnel-vision view of their mission. Note: Tunnel vision is a medical condition in which someone can only see things that are immediately in front of them, and cannot see things that are to the side.
See also: tunnel

light at the end of the tunnel

a long-awaited indication that a period of hardship or adversity is nearing an end.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

(see the) ˌlight at the end of the ˈtunnel

(see) the possibility of success, happiness, etc. in the future, especially after a long period of difficulty: Business has been bad recently, but I think we’re beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

(have) ˌtunnel ˈvision

(disapproving) (have) an interest in only one small part of something instead of the whole of it: He’s got tunnel vision about music. He thinks only the classics are worth listening to.
See also: tunnel

light at the end of the tunnel

The prospect of success, relief, or escape after strenuous effort.
See also: end, light, of, tunnel

light at the end of a tunnel, (see) the

A solution emerges at long last. This metaphor, evoking the end of a long, dark mining or railroad tunnel, came into widespread use only in the mid-twentieth century. It was used by President John F. Kennedy in a 1962 press conference on the Vietnam War and became common throughout that conflict. However, the image was used nearly a century earlier in a letter by English novelist George Eliot, and the expression also appeared in a letter from J. Middleton Murry to his wife, Katherine Mansfield (1922): “I begin to feel that the horror may move away and that there is a big round spot of real daylight at the end of the tunnel.”
See also: end, light, of

tunnel vision

A very narrow view, inability to see beyond a limited viewpoint. The term, dating from the mid-1900s, transfers the physiological inability to see peripheral objects to a mental outlook. For example, “Preble had the ghetto mind and the tunnel vision of a committed social climber” (T. Barling, Goodbye Piccadilly, 1980).
See also: tunnel
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the main drawbacks of tunneling is the lack of speed.
Awschalom and his colleagues attribute that absorption to quantum tunneling back and forth between two particular magnetic states.
It's difficult to pick up an issue of a journal such as PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS without seeing some mention of scanning tunneling microscopy.
A tunneling microscope uses the tiny electric current flowing between a probe tip and a sample only a few atomic diameters away to trace out a contour map of the sample's surface atoms.
Meanwhile, IBM and Stanford University scientists have modified a scanning tunneling microscope to map forces on the surfaces of both conducting and insulating materials.
Scanning tunneling microscopes were developed a few years ago by scientists at IBM Zurich in Switzerland (SN: 4/2/83, p.