Definition of lane in English:

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Pronunciation: /lān/


1A narrow road, especially in a rural area: she drove along the winding lane
More example sentences
  • Then the group set off up the narrow winding lane to the main road and the lay-by.
  • Sitting in front of the computer screen you get a driver's eye view as you travel along narrow streets, busy roads and winding country lanes in various weather conditions.
  • We traveled to the outskirts of Osaka and we proceeded to walk through a traditional residential area with narrow lanes until we arrived at an old house.
road, street, byroad, byway, alley, alleyway, back alley, back lane, track;
Chinese  hutong
1.1(In place names) a street in an urban area: Park Lane
More example sentences
  • It was proposed to link the development to the centre of the town by connecting with Claregate Street through Pidgeon lane.
  • The site, near Low Street and Common lane, was endorsed for housing in May by the Local Plan public inquiry inspector - despite green belt objections from residents.
  • Ashe Street and Court House lane will be bustling with activity during Easter weekend.
1.2 Astronomy A dark streak or band that shows up against a bright background, especially in a spiral galaxy or emission nebula.
Example sentences
  • It is divided into two half-circle formed segments by a dark lane of interstellar dust in front of it.
  • Older stars and dense dust lanes near the heart of the galaxy are red.
  • The galaxy's hallmark is a brilliant white, bulbous core encircled by the thick dust lanes comprising the spiral structure of the galaxy.
2A division of a road marked off with painted lines and intended to separate single lines of traffic according to speed or direction: the car accelerated and moved into the outside lane
More example sentences
  • The eastbound carriageway will close from Monday until December 20, with traffic running in single lanes in each direction on the westbound side.
  • Until then, the contraflow system on the westbound carriageway allowing a single lane of traffic in each direction will continue.
  • Only the concrete dividers separating the opposing lanes of traffic broke the utter flatness.
track, way, course;
road division;
2.1Each of a number of parallel strips of track or water for runners, rowers, or swimmers in a race: she went into the final in lane three
More example sentences
  • I like to mix up the lanes and have swimmers race a bit in practice.
  • If the swimmers in lanes two and four switch places by crossing the active swimming lane between them, time and space are once again out of sync.
  • Breast Stroke swimmers should avoid using lanes allocated for fast swimming.
2.2A path or course prescribed for or regularly followed by ships or aircraft: the shipping lanes of the South Atlantic
More example sentences
  • It is also geographically near the primary shipping lanes for oil tankers that ply the route between Japan and the Middle East.
  • Half the world's ocean-going cargo follows shipping lanes past the islands, and rich deposits of oil and natural gas are thought to lie beneath the nearby sea.
  • Plans to move the wreck of destroyer HMS Wakeful out of a shipping lane have been amended to allow the ship to safely remain where she sank during the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.
2.3(In basketball) a 12-foot-wide area extending from the free-throw line to below the basket.
Example sentences
  • Larry Bird once told me that the tool employed to draw all of the lanes in basketball, from the smallest bandbox to the grandest arena, leaves the same little hole on the foul line.
  • He also is finding it difficult to get lanes to the basket, which means he is not getting to the free-throw line.
  • Minutes later, a long pass sails downcourt, and Curry, standing in the middle of the free-throw lane, dashes to his left to intercept.
2.4(In bowling) a long narrow strip of floor down which the ball is bowled.
Example sentences
  • In the last issue, we reviewed the terms and definitions for bowling balls, lanes, and lane play.
  • They come in handy when you need to cream some extra traction between your bowling ball and the lane.
  • I am having problems picking out the right type of bowling ball for heavily oiled lanes.
2.5 Biochemistry Each of a number of notional parallel strips in the gel of an electrophoresis plate, occupied by a single sample.
Example sentences
  • The numbers above the lanes refer to sampling day (days after defoliation).
  • Parental DNAs cut with the same enzyme were electrophoresed in adjacent lanes to facilitate comparison of RFLP profiles.
  • Possession of the marker is indicated by two ‘bands’ in the electrophoresis lane derived from each well, while one band indicates lack of the marker.


Old English, related to Dutch laan; of unknown ultimate origin.

Words that rhyme with lane

abstain, appertain, arcane, arraign, ascertain, attain, Bahrain, bane, blain, brain, Braine, Cain, Caine, campaign, cane, cinquain, chain, champagne, champaign, Champlain, Charmaine, chicane, chow mein, cocaine, Coleraine, Coltrane, complain, constrain, contain, crane, Dane, deign, demesne, demi-mondaine, detain, disdain, domain, domaine, drain, Duane, Dwane, Elaine, entertain, entrain, explain, fain, fane, feign, gain, Germaine, germane, grain, humane, Hussein, inane, Jain, Jane, Jermaine, Kane, La Fontaine, lain, legerdemain, Lorraine, main, Maine, maintain, mane, mise en scène, Montaigne, moraine, mundane, obtain, ordain, Paine, pane, pertain, plain, plane, Port-of-Spain, profane, rain, Raine, refrain, reign, rein, retain, romaine, sane, Seine, Shane, Sinn Fein, skein, slain, Spain, Spillane, sprain, stain, strain, sustain, swain, terrain, thane, train, twain, Ujjain, Ukraine, underlain, urbane, vain, vane, vein, Verlaine, vicereine, wain, wane, Wayne

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: lane

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