Istilah lagoon dalam bahasa Inggris dimulai tahun []. Diadaptasi dari ''Venetian laguna'' (cf Latin lacuna, 'ruang kosong'), yang secara khusus menunjuk ke pembatas [[Venice]], tanah pembendung air laut, yang melindundi dari [[laut adriatic]] dengan pantai penghalang [[Lido]] (lihat [[Venetian Lagoon]]). Laguna menunjuk ke laguna pantai yang terbentuk oleh pasir atau karang di pantai yang dangkal dan laguna atol yang terbentuk dari pertumbuhan [[terumbu karang]].
Coastal lagoons are usually found on coasts with relatively small tidal ranges. They constitute approximately 13 percent of all coastlines. They generally extend parallel to the coastland, separated from the sea by barrier islands, sand and shingle bars or coral reefs. Non-reef lagoon barriers are formed by wave-action or longshore currents piling up coarser sediments off shore of the beach. Once a lagoon barrier has formed, finer sediments can settle out in the relatively quiet water behind the barrier, including sediments brought into the lagoon by rivers. Coastal lagoons typically have only constricted openings to the sea. As a result, water conditions in the lagoon can differ significantly from the open water of the sea in temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen and sediment load.
In many English-speaking countries, coastal lagoons are sometimes called sounds, bays, rivers, or lakes. Albemarle Sound in North Carolina, Great South Bay, between Long Island and the barrier beaches of Fire Island in New York, Banana River in Florida and Lake Illawarra in New South Wales are all lagoons. In the U.K. there are lagoons at Montrose, (Scotland) and Tywyn, (Wales), whilst the expanse of water inside Chesil Beach, England, known as the fleet, could also be described as a lagoon. There is also one near the small town of Dingle in western Ireland.
Di Meksiko kadang penggunaan "laguna", yg juga
ditermahakan sebagai "lagoon", digunakan untuk menunjukkan danau, sebagaimana Laguna Catemaco.