\ ˈlān How to pronounce lane (audio) \

Definition of lane

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a narrow passageway between fences or hedges
2 : a relatively narrow way or track: such as
a : an ocean route used by or prescribed for ships
b : a strip of roadway for a single line of vehicles
c : air lane
d : any of several parallel courses on a track or swimming pool in which a competitor must stay during a race
e : an unmarked lengthwise division of a playing area which defines the playing zone of a particular player
f : a narrow hardwood surface having pins at one end and a gutter along each side that is used in bowling


Definition of lane (Entry 2 of 3)

Scottish variant of


biographical name
\ ˈlān How to pronounce Lane (audio) \

Definition of Lane (Entry 3 of 3)

Edward William 1801–1876 English orientalist

Examples of lane in a Sentence

Noun The truck's driver kept changing lanes. She moved to the outside lane.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Morrow says the decreased vehicle traffic in these same cities, due to closed offices, has encouraged many people who would not normally try to navigate a bike lane to trade in their bus passes for a bicycle. Salena Zito, Washington Examiner, "Where all bicycles go to heaven," 13 Apr. 2021 Still, a live painting from victory lane is decidedly impressive. Michelle R. Martinelli, USA TODAY, "A grandfather clock? A gladiator sword? A live lobster? NASCAR’s top-14 novelty trophies, ranked," 10 Apr. 2021 Police said the van, for an unknown reason, attempted to turn right onto westbound Deer Park from the inside lane, and drove into the path of the truck. Clifford Ward,, "Woman killed in 3-vehicle Deer Park crash," 8 Apr. 2021 City planners and bike advocates say the bike lane option could spur more bike traffic in the corridor. Washington Post, "Car lanes vs. bike lanes: Proposals for busy Connecticut Avenue draw mixed reviews," 7 Apr. 2021 Some gasoline had to be cleared from the southbound lane of SOM, over the course of about an hour and both cars sustained heavy damage, requiring tows. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "After a night in the woods, loose huskies wind up in good hands: Hunting Valley Police Blotter," 2 Apr. 2021 Sections of street normally dedicated to cars which are temporarily painted to resemble a bike lane for riders. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, "Houston cyclists paint bike lanes where the city won't," 15 Mar. 2021 Unbeknownst to us, in May 1971 a group of citizens successfully lobbied for the city’s first bike lane. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "I biked with my 86-year-old dad to Golden Gate Park. Please close JFK Drive to cars forever," 12 Mar. 2021 The driver of a pickup truck tried to take the exit from the wrong lane, forcing the driver of the SUV to swerve to the right. Andres Picon, San Antonio Express-News, "SUV goes airborne on I-35, crashes into compact car, kills 23-year-old woman," 7 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lane.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lane


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lane


Middle English, from Old English lanu; akin to Middle Dutch lane lane

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Time Traveler for lane

Time Traveler

The first known use of lane was before the 12th century

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Statistics for lane

Last Updated

21 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for lane



English Language Learners Definition of lane

: a narrow road or path
: a part of road that is marked by painted lines and that is for a single line of vehicles
: a narrow part of a track or swimming pool that is used by a single runner or swimmer in a race


\ ˈlān How to pronounce lane (audio) \

Kids Definition of lane

1 : a narrow path or road (usually between fences, hedges, or buildings)
2 : a special route (as for ships)
3 : a strip of road used for a single line of traffic
4 : a long narrow wooden floor used for bowling
5 : a narrow course of a track or swimming pool in which a competitor must stay during a race

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More from Merriam-Webster on lane

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lane

Nglish: Translation of lane for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lane for Arabic Speakers

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