Direct quote from Wikipedia:
“There is considerable uncertainty about defining the difference between lakes and ponds. For example, limnologists have defined lakes as waterbodies which are simply a larger version of a pond, or which have wave action on the shoreline, or where wind induced turbulence plays a major role in mixing the water column. None of these definitions completely excludes ponds and all are difficult to measure. For this reason there has been increasing use made of simple size-based definitions to separate ponds and lakes. In the United Kingdom, for example, the charity Pond Conservation – which works to protect all types of freshwater ecosystem – has defined lakes as waterbodies of 2 hectares (5 acres) or more in area. Elsewhere, other workers have treated lakes as waterbodies of 5 hectares (12 acres) and above, or 8 hectares (20 acres) and above (see definitions of pond). Charles Elton, one of the founders of ecology, regarded lakes as waterbodies of 40 hectares (99 acres) or more, a value somewhat larger than modern studies would suggest appropriate. The term “lake” is also used to describe a feature such as Lake Eyre, which is a dry basin most of the time but may become filled under seasonal conditions of heavy rainfall.
“Further, in common usage, many lakes bear names ending with the word “pond”, and a lesser number of names ending with “lake” are in quasi-technical fact, ponds. In short, there is no current internationally accepted definition of either term across scientific disciplines or political boundaries. Within disciplines, authors are careful to define environmental geographic circumstances, and obviates the need for artificially imposed definitions when most of the worlds’ people speak different languages.
“In ecology the environment of a lake is referred to as lacustrine. Large lakes are occasionally referred to as “inland seas”, and small seas are occasionally referred to as lakes. Smaller lakes tend to put the word “lake” after the name, as in Green Lake, while larger lakes often invert the word order, as in Lake Ontario, at least in North America. In some places, the word “lake” does not correctly appear in the name at all (e.g., Windermere in Cumbria).
“Only one lake in the English Lake District is actually called a lake; other than Bassenthwaite Lake, the others are all “meres” or “waters”. Only six bodies of water in Scotland are known as lakes (the others are lochs): the Lake of Menteith, the Lake of the Hirsel, Pressmennan Lake, Cally Lake near Gatehouse of Fleet, the saltwater Manxman’s Lake at Kirkcudbright Bay, and The Lake at Fochabers. Of these only the Lake of Menteith and Cally Lake are natural bodies of fresh water.”