Lay Definition

laid, laying, lays
verb
laid, laying, lays
To lay an egg or eggs.
Webster's New World
To cause to come down or fall with force; knock down, as from an erect position.
A blow laid him low.
Webster's New World
To put down or place (bricks, carpeting, etc.) in the correct position or way for a specific purpose.
Webster's New World
To bury.
American Heritage
To cause to be situated in a particular place or condition.
The film's first scene is laid in France.
Webster's New World
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noun
lays
The way or position in which something is situated or arranged.
The lay of the land.
Webster's New World
The amount of such twist.
American Heritage
A share in the profits of some enterprise, esp. of a whaling expedition.
Webster's New World
The direction or amount of twist of the strands of a rope, cable, etc.
Webster's New World
The state of one that lays eggs.
A hen coming into lay.
American Heritage
Synonyms:
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adjective
Of, relating to, or involving the laity.
A lay preacher.
American Heritage
Of or consisting of the laity, or ordinary people, as distinguished from the clergy.
Webster's New World
Not belonging to or connected with a given profession; nonprofessional.
A legal handbook for lay readers.
Webster's New World
Non-professional; not being a member of an organized institution.
Wiktionary
Antonyms:
pronoun

A river in western France.

Wiktionary
Wiktionary
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idiom
lay down the law
  • To issue orders or instructions sharply or imperiously.
American Heritage
lay it on thick
  • To exaggerate or overstate something.
American Heritage
lay low
  • To keep oneself or one's plans hidden.
  • To bide one's time but remain ready for action.
American Heritage
lay of the land
  • The nature, arrangement, or disposition of something.
American Heritage
lay rubber
  • To accelerate a motor vehicle suddenly from a stop so that the wheels spin rapidly.
American Heritage
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Other Word Forms of Lay

Noun

Singular:
lay
Plural:
lays

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").

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English lay, from Old French lai (“song, lyric, poem"), from Frankish *laik, *laih (“play, melody, song"), from Proto-Germanic *laikaz, *laikiz (“jump, play, dance, hymn"), from Proto-Indo-European *loig-, *(e)laiǵ- (“to jump, spring, play"). Akin to Old High German leih (“a play, skit, melody, song"), Middle High German leich (“piece of music, epic song played on a harp"), Old English lācan (“to move quickly, fence, sing"). See lake.

    From Wiktionary

  • From Middle English laie, lawe, from Old English lagu (“sea, flood, water, ocean"), from Proto-Germanic *laguz (“water, sea"), from Proto-Indo-European *lakw- (“water, body of water, lake"). Cognate with Icelandic lögur (“liquid, fluid, lake"), Latin lacus (“lake, hollow, hole").

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English from Old French lai from Late Latin lāicus from Greek lāikos of the people from lāos the people

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English leien from Old English lecgan legh- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English from Old French lai

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Old French lai

    From Wiktionary

  • From the verb.

    From Wiktionary

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