1. A group of five freshwater lakes of central North America between the United States and Canada, including Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. The Great Lakes connect Midwestern ports with the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway.
2. A group of several large lakes in the vicinity of the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa. The group is generally considered to include Lakes Victoria, Albert, Edward, Kivu, Tanganyika, and Nyasa.
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.