a. A narrow country road.
b. A narrow way or passage between walls, hedges, or fences.
2. A narrow passage, course, or track, especially:
a. A prescribed course for ships or aircraft.
b. A strip delineated on a street or highway to accommodate a single line of vehicles: a breakdown lane; an express lane.
c. Sports One of a set of parallel courses marking the bounds for contestants in a race, especially in swimming or track.
d. Sports A wood-surfaced passageway or alley along which a bowling ball is rolled.
e. Sports An unmarked lengthwise area of a playing field or ice rink viewed as the main playing area for a particular position, such as a wing in soccer.
f. Basketball The rectangular area marked on a court from the end line to the foul line.
[Middle English, from Old English.]
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The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.