lane

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lane / lān/ • n. 1. a narrow road, esp. in a rural area: she drove along the winding lane. ∎ Astron. a dark streak or band that shows up against a bright background, esp. in a spiral galaxy or emission nebula. 2. a division of a road marked off with painted lines and intended to separate single lines of traffic according to speed or direction: the car accelerated and moved into the outside lane. ∎  each of a number of parallel strips of track or water for runners, rowers, or swimmers in a race. ∎  a path or course prescribed for or regularly followed by ships or aircraft: the shipping lanes of the South Atlantic. ∎  (in basketball) a 12-foot-wide area extending from the free-throw line to below the basket. ∎  (in bowling) a long narrow strip of floor down which the ball is bowled. ∎ Biochem. each of a number of notional parallel strips in the gel of an electrophoresis plate, occupied by a single sample.

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lane OE. lane = MDu. lāne (Du. lāan), of unkn. orig.