body of relatively still water, localized in a basin

A lake is a naturally occurring, relatively large and fixed body of water on the earth's surface. It is localized in a basin or interconnected basins surrounded by dry land.

Lake Mapourika, New Zealand


  • A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature. The fluviatile trees next the shore are the slender eyelashes which fringe it, and the wooded hills and cliffs around are its overhanging brows.
  • It forms a little world within itself,—a microcosm within which all the elemental forces are at work and the play of life goes on in full, but on so small a scale as to bring it easily within the mental grasp.
    • Forbes, Stephen Alfred (December 1876). "The Food of Fishes". Natural History of Illinois I: 18.
  • A lake
    Is a river curled and asleep like a snake.
    • Thomas Lovell Beddoes, fragment written 1823-5; first published 1935; reported in The New Oxford Book of Victorian Verse (1987)

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