Lay definitions

Of or consisting of the laity, or ordinary people, as distinguished from the clergy.
adjective
287
6
Not belonging to or connected with a given profession; nonprofessional.

A legal handbook for lay readers.

adjective
284
3
Of, relating to, or involving the laity.

A lay preacher.

adjective
283
7
The way or position in which something is situated or arranged.

The lay of the land.

noun
281
4
Not of or belonging to a particular profession; nonprofessional.

A lay opinion as to the seriousness of the disease.

adjective
280
7
A share in the profits of some enterprise, esp. of a whaling expedition.
noun
278
3
The state of one that lays eggs.

A hen coming into lay.

noun
277
3
The direction or amount of twist of the strands of a rope, cable, etc.
noun
275
6
The direction the strands of a rope or cable are twisted in.

A left lay.

noun
274
5
Terms of employment, a sale, etc.
noun
272
1
The amount of such twist.
noun
271
5
One's occupation, esp. as a criminal.
noun
269
7
To cause to lie down.

Lay a child in its crib.

verb
268
2
An instance of sexual intercourse.

A quick lay.

noun
266
5
To spread over a surface.

Lay paint on a canvas.

verb
265
1
A partner in sexual intercourse, esp. the female partner.

A good lay.

noun
263
1
To place or give (importance).

Lay stress on clarity of expression.

verb
262
0
To lay an egg or eggs.
verb
260
6
To impose as a burden or punishment.

Lay a penalty upon the offender.

verb
259
7
To bet; wager.
verb
257
4
To present for examination.

Lay a case before a committee.

verb
256
0
To lie; recline.
verb
254
0
To put forward as a demand or an assertion.

Laid claim to the estate.

verb
253
7
To get ready; plan.

Laying to rob a store.

verb
251
1
To place (a bet); wager.
verb
250
7
To go; proceed.

All hands, lay aft to the fantail!

verb
248
4
To aim (a gun or cannon).
verb
247
4
verb
245
3
To have sexual intercourse with.
verb
244
1
To cause to come down or fall with force; knock down, as from an erect position.

A blow laid him low.

verb
242
3
To place in or bring to a particular position.

Lay the cloth over the painting.

verb
241
5
To cause to lie; place or put so as to be in a resting or recumbent position; deposit.

Lay the pen on the desk.

verb
239
6
To cause to be in a particular condition.

The remark laid him open to criticism.

verb
238
5
To prepare (a table) for a meal; set with silverware, plates, etc.
verb
236
4
To bury.
verb
235
6
To advance, present, or assert.

To lay claim to property, to lay a matter before the voters.

verb
233
6
To place together (strands) to be twisted into rope.
verb
232
3
To attribute; ascribe; charge; impute.

To lay the blame on someone.

verb
230
3
To make in this manner.

Lay up cable.

verb
229
3
To arrange and twist together (strands) so as to form (rope, yarn, etc.)
verb
227
6
To put or set down.

Lay new railroad track.

verb
226
3
To have sexual intercourse with.
verb
224
6
To produce and deposit.

Lay eggs.

verb
223
3
To aim (a gun) by adjusting its direction and elevation.
verb
221
5
To cause to subside; calm or allay.
verb
220
6
To place; put; set.

To lay emphasis on accuracy.

verb
218
2
To put up to or against something.

Lay an ear to the door.

verb
217
4
To produce and deposit (an egg or eggs)
verb
215
2
To put forward as a reproach or an accusation.

They laid the blame on us.

verb
214
3
To press or smooth down.

To lay the nap of cloth.

verb
212
6
To put or set in order or readiness for use.

Lay the table for lunch.

verb
211
6
To bet (a specified sum, etc.)
verb
209
2
To devise; contrive.

Lay plans.

verb
208
5
To impose or place (a tax, penalty, etc. on or upon)
verb
206
5
To work out; devise.

To lay plans.

verb
203
0
Non-professional; not being a member of an organized institution.
adjective
35
0
(obsolete) A meadow; a lea.

noun
35
0
Not belonging to the clergy, but associated with them.

They seemed more lay than clerical.

adjective
32
1
(obsolete) A law.
noun
32
1
A river in western France.
pronoun
29
0
anagrams
29
1
Arrangement or relationship; layout.

The lay of the land.

noun
26
0
pronoun
26
0
To place down in a position of rest, or in a horizontal position.

To lay a book on the table; to lay a body in the grave.

A shower of rain lays the dust.

A corresponding intransitive version of this word is lie.

verb
23
0
A share of the profits in a business.
noun
23
0
(archaic) To cause to subside or abate.
verb
20
0
(obsolete) An obligation; a vow.
noun
20
0
(law) To state; to allege.

To lay the venue.

verb
17
0
The direction a rope is twisted.

Worm and parcel with the lay; turn and serve the other way.

noun
17
0
The definition of lay is the position in which something lies.

An example of lay is the way that a plateau is situated on the landscape.

noun
15
0
(military) To point; to aim.

To lay a gun.

verb
14
0
(colloquial) A casual sexual partner.

What was I, just another lay you can toss aside as you go on to your next conquest?

noun
14
0
Lay is defined as to put or set something down or to produce and deposit something.

An example of lay is to place a plate on the table.

An example of lay is a hen producing eggs.

verb
12
0
(ropemaking) To put the strands of (a rope, a cable, etc.) in their proper places and twist or unite them.

To lay a cable or rope.

verb
11
0
(colloquial) An act of sexual intercourse.
noun
11
0
(printing) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
verb
8
0
(slang, archaic) A plan; a scheme.

noun
8
0
(printing) To place (new type) properly in the cases.
verb
5
0
A lake.
noun
5
0
To apply; to put.
verb
2
0
A ballad or sung poem; a short poem or narrative, usually intended to be sung.

1805 The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Sir Walter Scott.

noun
2
0
To produce and deposit eggs.
verb
0
0
To bet; wager.
verb
0
0
To lie.
verb
0
0
To put oneself into the position indicated.
verb
0
0
Sexual intercourse.
noun
0
0
A partner in sexual intercourse.
noun
0
0
A narrative poem, such as one sung by medieval minstrels; a ballad.
noun
0
0
A song; a tune.
noun
0
0
To put down or place (bricks, carpeting, etc.) in the correct position or way for a specific purpose.
verb
0
0
To cause to be situated in a particular place or condition.

The film's first scene is laid in France.

verb
0
0
To establish or prepare as a basis or for use.

To lay the groundwork.

verb
0
0
To arrange the fuel in a fireplace for (a fire)
verb
0
0
To cause to subside or settle.

Lay the dust.

verb
0
0
To allay, suppress, overcome, or appease.

To lay a ghost, lay one's fears.

verb
0
0
A short poem, esp. a narrative poem, orig. for singing as by a medieval minstrel.
noun
0
0
A song or melody.
noun
0
0
To prepare (a plan, project etc.); to set out, establish (a law, principle).
verb
0
0
To install certain building materials, laying one thing on top of another.

Lay brick; lay flooring.

verb
0
0
To produce and deposit an egg.
verb
0
0
To bet (that something is or is not the case).

I'll lay that he doesn't turn up on Monday.

verb
0
0
To deposit (a stake) as a wager; to stake; to risk.
verb
0
0
(slang) To have sex with.
verb
0
0
(intransitive, nonstandard) To lie (be in a horizontal or resting position).
verb
0
0
(nautical) To take a position; to come or go.

To lay forward; to lay aloft.

verb
0
0
To impose (a burden, punishment, command, tax, etc.).

To lay a tax on land.

verb
0
0
To impute; to charge; to allege.
verb
0
0
To present or offer.

To lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one.

verb
0
0
Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster's Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
verb
0
0
Simple past tense of lie, when pertaining to position.

The baby lay in its crib and slept silently.

verb
0
0
(proscribed) To be in a horizontal position; to lie (from confusion with lie).
verb
0
0

Origin of lay

From Middle English layen, leggen, from Old English lecgan (“to lay"), from Proto-Germanic *lagjanÄ… (“to lay"), causative form of Proto-Germanic *ligjanÄ…, *legjanÄ… (“to lie, recline"), from Proto-Indo-European *legÊ°- (“to lie, recline"). Cognate with Dutch leggen (“to lay"), German legen (“to lay"), Norwegian ligge (“to lay"), Swedish lägga (“to lay"), Icelandic leggja (“to lay"), Albanian lag (“troop, band, war encampment").