transitive verb-·laid·, -·lay·ing
- to set (pieces of wood, metal, etc.) into a surface to make a design that is typically level with the surface
- to decorate with such pieces
- to fit or insert (an illustration) into a mat
- to add extra silver to (silver-plated objects)
Origin of inlayin- and lay
- inlaid decoration or material
- a filling for a tooth made from a mold of the prepared cavity and then cemented into place
transitive verbin·laid, in·lay·ing, in·lays
- a. To set (pieces of wood or ivory, for example) into a surface, usually at the same level, to form a design.b. To decorate by setting in such designs.
- To insert (a photograph, for example) within a mat in a book.
- a. Contrasting material set into a surface in pieces to form a design.b. A design, pattern, or decoration made by inlaying.
- Dentistry A solid filling, as of gold or porcelain, fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.
detail of colored and
semiprecious stones inlaid
in white marble at the
Taj Mahal mausoleum
(third-person singular simple present inlays, present participle inlaying, simple past and past participle inlaid)
in- + lay.