[lok, lokh]

noun Irish English.

a lake.
a partially landlocked or protected bay; a narrow arm of the sea.

Compare loch.

Origin of lough

1505–15; Anglo-Irish spelling of Irish loch lake; compare Middle English low, lough(e), logh(e), Old English (Northumbrian) lūh < British Celtic *lux- (> Welsh llwch (obsolete) lake, Old Breton luh, Breton louc’h), apparently < early Irish; see loch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lough

Historical Examples of lough

  • They sat down on the edge of the Lough and did not speak for a long time.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Not long ago the point in the Lough was a rabbit warren, whence the name.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • At least 'he came from one of the ships in the lough, and could speak no English.'

  • "It will be the rougher for you as you sail up the Lough," said Tony, as he lighted his cigar.

    Tony Butler

    Charles James Lever

  • The Arrow must have come in after I had crossed the lough that evening.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for lough



an Irish word for lake 1
a long narrow bay or arm of the sea in Ireland
Compare loch

Word Origin for lough

C14: from Irish loch lake
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 lough

"a lake, pool," early 14c., Anglo-Celtic, representing a northern form of Irish and Gaelic loch, Welsh llwch, from PIE root *laku- (see lake (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper