a narrow way or passage between hedges, fences, walls, or houses.
any narrow or well-defined passage, track, channel, or course.
a longitudinally marked part of a highway wide enough to accommodate one vehicle, often set off from adjacent lanes by painted lines (often used in combination): a new six-lane turnpike.
a fixed route followed by ocean steamers or airplanes.
(in a running or swimming race) the marked-off space or path within which a competitor must remain during the course of a race.

Origin of lane

before 1000; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch laan avenue, Old Norse lǫn oblong hayrick, row of houses
Can be confusedlain lane

Synonyms for lane

1. alley. See path.







a male given name. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lane

Contemporary Examples of lane

Historical Examples of lane

  • On the homeward way they turned into a lane and came to a clump of catnip.

    A Night Out

    Edward Peple

  • And now, looking down the lane among the trees, he saw men surge into it.

  • It stood off from the high road, in Black's Lane, at the head of the town.

  • She took it up the lane to the place where the man is; and they put it behind the palings.

  • Crane drove back to the village and went at once to the cashier, Mr. Lane's house.


    W. A. Fraser

British Dictionary definitions for lane




  1. a narrow road or way between buildings, hedges, fences, etc
  2. (capital as part of a street name)Drury Lane
  1. any of the parallel strips into which the carriageway of a major road or motorway is divided
  2. any narrow well-defined route or course for ships or aircraft
one of the parallel strips into which a running track or swimming bath is divided for races
the long strip of wooden flooring down which balls are bowled in a bowling alley

Word Origin for lane

Old English lane, lanu, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch lāne lane



adjective Scot dialect

lone or alone
one's lane or on one's lane on one's own
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for lane

Old English lane, lanu "narrow hedged-in road," common Germanic (cf. Old Frisian lana, Middle Dutch lane, Dutch laan "lane," Old Norse lön "row of houses"), of unknown origin. As one track of a marked road, from 1921, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lane


see fast lane; lovers' lane.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.