CHUTE (Fr. for "fall," of water or the like; pronounced as "shoot," with which in meaning it is identical), a channel or trough, artificial or natural, down which objects such as timber, coal or grain may slide from a higher to a lower level. The word is also used of a channel cut in a dam or a river for the passage of floating timber, and in Louisiana and on the Mississippi of a channel at the side of a river, or narrow way between an island and the shore. The "Water-Chute" or water tobogganing, is a Canadian pastime, which has been popular in London and elsewhere. A steep wooden slope terminates in a shallow lake; down this run flat-bottomed boats which rapidly increase their velocity until at the end of the "chute" they dash into the water.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)