from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A large inland body of fresh water or salt water.
  • n. A scenic pond, as in a park.
  • n. A large pool of liquid: a lake of spilled coffee on my desk.
  • n. A pigment consisting of organic coloring matter with an inorganic, usually metallic base or carrier, used in dyes, inks, and paints.
  • n. A deep red.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small stream of running water; a channel for water; a drain.
  • n. A large, landlocked, naturally-occurring stretch of water.
  • n. A large amount of liquid; as, a wine lake.
  • n. An offering, sacrifice, gift.
  • n. Play; sport; game; fun; glee.
  • v. To present an offering.
  • v. To leap, jump, exert oneself, play.
  • n. Fine linen.
  • n. In dyeing and painting, an often fugitive crimson or vermillion pigment derived from an organic colorant (cochineal or madder, for example) and an inorganic, generally metallic mordant.
  • v. To make lake-red.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A pigment formed by combining some coloring matter, usually by precipitation, with a metallic oxide or earth, esp. with aluminium hydrate
  • n. A kind of fine white linen, formerly in use.
  • n. A large body of water contained in a depression of the earth's surface, and supplied from the drainage of a more or less extended area.
  • intransitive v. To play; to sport.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To play; sport; trifle; “lark.”
  • A dialectal form of leak.
  • To become laky, or like a lake (pigment) in color. See laky.
  • To cause to resemble a lake (pigment) in color; specifically, discharge (the hemoglobin) rapidly from the erythrocytes into the blood-plasma.
  • n. A body of water surrounded by land, or not forming part of the ocean and occupying a depression below the ordinary drainage-level of the region.
  • n. A relatively small pond partly or wholly artificial, as an ornament of a park or of public or private grounds.
  • n. A stream; rivulet.
  • n. A pit; den.
  • n. Play; sport; game.
  • n. A contest; a fight.
  • n. A pigment formed by absorbing animal, vegetable, or coal-tar coloring matter from an aqueous solution by means of metallic bases.
  • n. A kind of fine white linen.
  • n. An obsolete or dialectal form of lack.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a purplish red pigment prepared from lac or cochineal
  • n. a body of (usually fresh) water surrounded by land
  • n. any of numerous bright translucent organic pigments


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French lac and from Old English lacu, both from Latin lacus.
From French laque; see lac.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lake ("lake, watercourse, body of water"), from Old English lacu ("lake, pond, pool, stream, watercourse"), from Proto-Germanic *lakō, *lakiz (“stream, pool, water aggregation", originally "ditch, drainage, seep”), from Proto-Germanic *lekanan (“to leak, drain”), from Proto-Indo-European *leg-, *leǵ- (“to leak”). Cognate with Dutch laak ("lake, pond, stream"), Middle Low German lāke ("standing water, water pooled in a riverbed"), German Lache ("pool, puddle"), Icelandic lækur ("stream, brook, flow"). See also leak, leach.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English lake, lak, lac (also loke, laik, layke), from Old English lāc ("play, sport, strife, battle, sacrifice, offering, gift, present, booty, message"), from Proto-Germanic *laikan (“play, fight”), *laikaz (“game, dance, hymn, sport”), from Proto-Indo-European *loig-, *leig- (“to bounce, shake, tremble”). Cognate with Old High German leih ("song, melody, music") and Albanian luaj ("I move, play"). More at lay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English lachen

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French laque ("lacquer"), from Persian لاک (lāk), from Hindi lakh, from Sanskrit laksha ("one hundred thousand"), referring to the number of insects that gather on the trees and make the resin seep out.



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  • "Another aesthetic practice that Europeans had in common with the ancient Mexicans was the use of cochineal as an artists' pigment. In Europe, cochineal was usually used as an ingredient for crimson lake--lake being the general term for any pigment made by attaching colorless inorganic compounds to translucent dyes, enabling the dyes to be used in painting.

    Red lakes were also made with madder, lac, and various types of kermes. Only recently have museum conservationists discovered reliable ways of distinguishing which dyestuff was used in a given work of art. Although many paintings have yet to be tested, and others have produced equivocal results, early analysis indicates that cochineal was much more slowly adopted by painters than by dyers. Largely ignored for several decades, cochineal lakes finally came into their own in the late 1500s and 1600s, finding a place on the palettes of masters like Tintoretto, Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Dyck. ...

    To make cochineal lakes, painters sometimes started with shearings from cochineal-dyed textiles, then boiled them in lye and added alum to extract the red coloring. ...

    Cochineal paints were not nearly as durable as cochineal textile dyes. When made with a sufficient proportion of dye to fixative medium, cochineal lakes were fairly fast in oil paintings, but like all lakes they had a tendency to fade with exposure to light."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 81-82, 82-83.

    October 5, 2017