\ˈlān \

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

g : free throw lane


Definition of lane (Entry 2 of 3)

Scottish variant of


biographical name
\ˈlān \

Definition of Lane (Entry 3 of 3)

Edward William 1801–1876 English orientalist

Examples of lane in a Sentence


The truck's driver kept changing lanes. She moved to the outside lane.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

To succeed, The Good Cop needs to get out of the mellow middle laneMichele K Short/Netflix Some of the jokes on the show are genuinely funny. Karen Han, Vox, "Josh Groban and Tony Danza’s appealing odd-couple dynamic can’t quite save The Good Cop," 21 Sep. 2018 Drivers will be alerted to weeknight and weekend lane closures as the work is scheduled, GDOT said. David Ibata, ajc, "New lane open on Ga. 400 in Forsyth," 12 July 2018 Drivers face possible problems for the Thursday night commute after two waterline breaks force some lane closures in Shively and Okolona. Kate Talerico, The Courier-Journal, "Two water main breaks could affect rush hour traffic," 12 July 2018 But because the tollway has started bridge repairs and lane closures on 47th Street, Hinsdale recommends drivers detour on Wolf Road before proceeding any farther west. Kimberly Fornek,, "Oak Street Bridge and Chicago Avenue in Hinsdale to close for construction," 12 July 2018 When confronted with lane closures and heavy highway traffic, using a zipper merge is the best way to keep traffic moving. Cameron Knight,, "How to get to Riverbend without getting stuck in traffic," 6 July 2018 When confronted with lane closures and heavy highway traffic, using a zipper merge is the best way to keep traffic moving. Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY, "How self-driving car or adaptive cruise control could ease traffic jams," 3 July 2018 Some drivers said signs were inadequate and the lane closures took them by surprise. John Sowell, idahostatesman, "Contractor herding traffic near fiery I-84 crash had safety plan. Here's what it said," 29 June 2018 City spokeswoman Marycon Young said weekday lane closures will occur between Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Monday, June 25. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "One of downtown's busiest streets will close for redo. Here's what commuters should know," 21 June 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lane

Dictionary Entries near lane


land yacht

land yard



lane cake


Statistics for lane

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lane

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on lane

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lane

Spanish Central: Translation of lane

Nglish: Translation of lane for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lane for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lane

What made you want to look up lane? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!