transitive verb-·laid·, -·lay·ing
- to lie in wait for and attack; ambush
- to wait for and accost (a person) on the way
Origin of waylayway + lay, after Middle Low German wegelagen, to waylay from wegelage, an ambush from weg, akin to way + lage, a lying from base of leggian; akin to lie
transitive verbway·laid, way·lay·ing, way·lays
- To lie in wait for and attack from ambush. See Synonyms at ambush.
- To approach and speak to (a person on the way to a destination or in the middle of an activity): “After the meal he followed me into the living room and waylaid me before I could reassemble my guests” ( Louis Auchincloss )
- To interrupt the course or progress of: travelers waylaid by a storm; an athlete waylaid by an injury.
(third-person singular simple present waylays, present participle waylaying, simple past and past participle waylaid or (nonstandard) waylayed)