AskDefine | Define inlet

Dictionary Definition

inlet n : an arm off of a larger body of water (often between rocky headlands) [syn: recess]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. A body of water let into a coast, such as a bay, cove, fjord or estuary.
  2. A passage that leads into a cavity.
    • 1748. HUME, David. An enquiry concerning human understanding. In: L. A. SELBY-BIGGE, M. A. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. 2. ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 15.
      by opening this new inlet for sensations, you also open an inlet for the ideas;


Extensive Definition

An inlet is a narrow body between islands or leading inland from a larger body of water, often leading to an enclosed body of water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon or marsh. In sea coasts an inlet usually refers to the actual connection between a bay and the ocean and is often called an "entrance." A certain kind of inlet created by glaciation is a fjord, typically but not always in mountainous coastlines and also in montane lakes.
Complexes of large inlets or fjords may be called sounds, e.g. Puget Sound, Howe Sound, Karmsund (sund is Norwegian for "sound"). Some fjord-type inlets are called canals, e.g. Portland Canal, Lynn Canal, Hood Canal, and some are channels, e.g. Dean Channel, Douglas Channel.

See also

inlet in German: Bucht
inlet in Japanese: 入り江
inlet in Dutch: Inham
inlet in Russian: Бухта (география)
inlet in Swedish: Bukt

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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