Definition of lagoon in US English:



  • 1A stretch of salt water separated from the sea by a low sandbank or coral reef.

    • ‘The area is a complex and beautiful ecosystem of coastal forest, mangrove, rivers and lagoons.’
    • ‘Frequent winter visitors to the mangrove lagoons, are the Belted Kingfisher and the regal Osprey.’
    • ‘In waters connected to coastal lagoons gentle manatees laze in the mangroves.’
    • ‘The Teshekpuk area, a network of wet meadows, river deltas, coastal lagoons and small ponds, is the prime calving grounds for a 25,000-strong caribou herd.’
    • ‘They temporarily isolate the lagoon from the sea, blocking the flow of the tide.’
    • ‘If there is a sea running, the beach may be a bit rough for swimming, but there is good swimming in the lagoon when the tide is high.’
    • ‘With luck, unambiguous light from the huge sky will be bouncing off the saltwater lagoons that lap the freeway.’
    • ‘A coral reef approximately a mile from the coast surrounds the island with a shallow lagoon.’
    • ‘These lakes are thought to have once been lagoons that became land locked thousands of years ago.’
    • ‘The road runs the length of a thin peninsula separating the Caribbean Sea from a large saltwater lagoon.’
    • ‘A lot of the coastal lagoons that Green and Golden Bell frogs traditionally used as breeding sites have been reclaimed.’
    • ‘Some live along steep edges of the reef, and others in sandy sheltered lagoons.’
    • ‘Except during spring snowmelt and runoff, freshwater input to coastal lagoons is limited.’
    • ‘Behind us were two large saltwater lagoons separated by a path and small central bridge.’
    • ‘In the Sandy Pond area, you'll enjoy the beauty of fragile barrier beaches, dunes, lagoons, and freshwater marshes.’
    • ‘As the water is expelled, the gates will rise until they emerge and isolated the lagoon from the sea.’
    • ‘The lagoon, near the boat moorings, turned out to be extremely interesting.’
    • ‘For this photograph, Seidler placed himself on a white sand beach overlooking a turquoise lagoon.’
    • ‘You can wade for miles, across everything from mangrove lagoons to pancake flats carpeted with turtle grass.’
    • ‘There are no surrounding protective reefs or sheltered lagoons.’
    1. 1.1North American, NZ, Australian A small freshwater lake near a larger lake or river.
      • ‘In my memory and imagination, I always associate them with many picnics in many places, boiling the billy in their shade, by beach, river, lake, lagoon or creek.’
      • ‘Kerala is blessed with rivers, lakes and lagoons and these offer a rare spectacle to tourists.’
      • ‘The preserve has 11 freshwater lagoons, one of which guests can snorkel, providing a rare glimpse into a world of fish and turtles.’
      • ‘The earlier stages of Andean mountain building had created a system of lagoons, and later lakes, in the South American interior, and a system of islands in the south.’
      • ‘We moved further east, deeper into a vast region of unexplored lakes and lagoons where the only transport could be by boat.’
      • ‘The species apparently grew along shores of lakes and fresh-water lagoons.’
      • ‘One of the best is Ganga Garden, overlooking a lagoon formed by the River Bentota and run, improbably enough, by a Blackpool landlady.’
      • ‘A circumtropical family of eight species, including two in the New World, jacanas inhabit freshwater swamps, lakes, lagoons and seasonally flooded pastures.’
      • ‘Here the rock formed when lava flowed into a freshwater lagoon and quickly altered into spilite basalt.’
      • ‘Punta Cana also has a number of unique natural features like freshwater lagoons and coastal mangroves that make it a delight both for visitors and environmentalists.’
      • ‘I saw a single coot and lots of wood pigeons perched in the dead trees surrounding the lagoon.’
      • ‘But they trapped and speared fish in inland rivers and lagoons, and collected shellfish along the coastline.’
      • ‘People are most disturbed about a general decrease in the numbers and quality of the fish caught in the river and lagoons.’
      • ‘Many of our water birds prefer the habitat of swamps, lakes and lagoons where water is not fast flowing or too deep.’
      • ‘The network of canals, lagoons and rivers that forms the coastal interior of Kerala, from Kollam (formerly Quilon) to Kochi, are known as ‘backwaters’.’
      • ‘They can be found in oceans, estuaries, freshwater streams, lagoons, lakes, shallow offshore waters and coastlines.’
      • ‘Since villagers associate lagoons and rivers with wealth and fertility, performances are celebratory.’
      • ‘They inhabit swift streams, the backwaters of large rivers, brackish lagoons, and potholes.’
      • ‘About 13 percent of Peru's territory has been converted to Protected Natural Areas, including lakes and lagoons, rivers and canyons, and gorgeous waterfalls.’
      inlet, inland sea, bay, lake, bight, pool, pond, swim
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 An artificial pool for the treatment of effluent or to accommodate surface water that overflows drains during heavy rain.
      • ‘Soon the landscape was dotted with fetid open pit liquid manure lagoons.’
      • ‘Two types of insurance policies could reduce effluent pollution from lagoons.’
      • ‘They do not frequent garbage dumps, but often feed at sewage lagoons.’
      • ‘Forage produced from fields of bermudagrass serving as receivers of swine lagoon effluent is a potential feed source for ruminants.’
      • ‘Fostering ecological richness on farms requires more than the absence of synthetic pesticides and gigantic manure lagoons.’
      • ‘Our sewage lagoon is designed for a far smaller population than we have now.’
      • ‘The nutrients in lagoon effluent are then removed from the field at crop harvest.’
      • ‘Arctic Bay's overflowing sewage lagoon was repaired.’
      • ‘Aerobic lagoons are about 10 times smaller than anaerobic lagoons.’
      • ‘Nebraska regulations specify a domestic wastewater lagoon should allow no more than 1/8 inch of seepage per day.’
      • ‘Healthy, vigorous perennial grass is the best type of vegetation with which to surround a lagoon.’
      • ‘Of the remaining nitrogen, 5 % settles as sludge and the rest is suspended or dissolved in lagoon effluent.’
      • ‘In April last year he received a Manitoba Conservation permit for an earthen manure storage lagoon.’
      • ‘Use a small bulldozer or front-end loader for constructing a lagoon.’
      • ‘The most common biological treatment system that also provides storage is the anaerobic lagoon.’
      • ‘They leave slurry channels and other pools or lagoons where they have developed to crawl very rapidly along walls and gangways into milking parlours and other farm production areas.’
      • ‘Duchas has constructed three lagoons to take waste water from the sewage treatment plant which serves Muckross House.’
      • ‘Anaerobic lagoons are not usually agitated before manure removal.’
      • ‘Nebraska requires that a fence at least four-foot high with a locking gate surround a lagoon.’
      • ‘Some owners object to the appearance of a fenced wastewater lagoon system.’


Early 17th century: from Italian and Spanish laguna, from Latin lacuna (see lacuna).