Lay meaning

To produce and deposit.

Lay eggs.

verb
9
4
To spread over a surface.

Lay paint on a canvas.

verb
5
3
To cause to lie down.

Lay a child in its crib.

verb
5
5
To devise; contrive.

Lay plans.

verb
3
3
To place or give (importance).

Lay stress on clarity of expression.

verb
3
3
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(nonstandard) To lie.
verb
1
0
To put or set down.

Lay new railroad track.

verb
1
2
To put or set in order or readiness for use.

Lay the table for lunch.

verb
1
2
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
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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
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0
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To put forward as a demand or an assertion.

Laid claim to the estate.

verb
0
0
(games) To place (a bet); wager.
verb
0
0
To aim (a gun or cannon).
verb
0
0
(vulgar slang) To have sexual intercourse with.
verb
0
0
To produce and deposit eggs.
verb
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0
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To bet; wager.
verb
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0
(nautical) To put oneself into the position indicated.
verb
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The state of one that lays eggs.

A hen coming into lay.

noun
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Of, relating to, or involving the laity.

A lay preacher.

adjective
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Not of or belonging to a particular profession; nonprofessional.

A lay opinion as to the seriousness of the disease.

adjective
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0
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A narrative poem, such as one sung by medieval minstrels; a ballad.
noun
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0
A song; a tune.
noun
0
0
To cause to come down or fall with force; knock down, as from an erect position.

A blow laid him low.

verb
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0
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
0
0
To place; put; set.

To lay emphasis on accuracy.

verb
0
0
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To produce and deposit (an egg or eggs)
verb
0
0
To press or smooth down.

To lay the nap of cloth.

verb
0
0
To bet (a specified sum, etc.)
verb
0
0
To impose or place (a tax, penalty, etc. on or upon)
verb
0
0
To work out; devise.

To lay plans.

verb
0
0
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To prepare (a table) for a meal; set with silverware, plates, etc.
verb
0
0
To advance, present, or assert.

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

verb
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0
To attribute; ascribe; charge; impute.

To lay the blame on someone.

verb
0
0
To arrange and twist together (strands) so as to form (rope, yarn, etc.)
verb
0
0
(slang) To have sexual intercourse with.
verb
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0
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(mil.) To aim (a gun) by adjusting its direction and elevation.
verb
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0
To lay an egg or eggs.
verb
0
0
To bet; wager.
verb
0
0
To lie; recline.
verb
0
0
(dial.) To get ready; plan.

Laying to rob a store.

verb
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0
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(naut.) To go; proceed.

All hands, lay aft to the fantail!

verb
0
0
The way or position in which something is situated or arranged.

The lay of the land.

noun
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A share in the profits of some enterprise, esp. of a whaling expedition.
noun
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0
The direction or amount of twist of the strands of a rope, cable, etc.
noun
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0
(informal) Terms of employment, a sale, etc.
noun
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0
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(chiefly brit., slang) One's occupation, esp. as a criminal.
noun
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0
verb
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Of or consisting of the laity, or ordinary people, as distinguished from the clergy.
adjective
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0
Not belonging to or connected with a given profession; nonprofessional.

A legal handbook for lay readers.

adjective
0
0
A short poem, esp. a narrative poem, orig. for singing as by a medieval minstrel.
noun
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0
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(obs.) A song or melody.
noun
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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
0
0
(archaic) To cause to subside or abate.
verb
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
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0
To produce and deposit an egg.
verb
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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
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0
(slang) To have sex with.
verb
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0
(intransitive, nonstandard) To lie (be in a horizontal or resting position).
verb
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0
(nautical) To take a position; to come or go.

To lay forward; to lay aloft.

verb
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0
(law) To state; to allege.

To lay the venue.

verb
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0
(military) To point; to aim.

To lay a gun.

verb
0
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
0
0
(printing) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
verb
0
0
(printing) To place (new type) properly in the cases.
verb
0
0
To apply; to put.
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
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0
Arrangement or relationship; layout.

The lay of the land.

noun
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0
A share of the profits in a business.
noun
0
0
The direction a rope is twisted.

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

noun
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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
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0
(colloquial) An act of sexual intercourse.
noun
0
0
(slang, archaic) A plan; a scheme.

noun
0
0
A lake.
noun
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0
Non-professional; not being a member of an organized institution.
adjective
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0
Not belonging to the clergy, but associated with them.

They seemed more lay than clerical.

adjective
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0
Simple past tense of lie, when pertaining to position.

The baby lay in its crib and slept silently.

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

noun
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0
(obsolete) A law.
noun
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(obsolete) An obligation; a vow.
noun
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0
anagrams
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0
A river in western France.
pronoun
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0
pronoun
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0
To cause to be in a particular condition.

The remark laid him open to criticism.

verb
0
1
To cause to subside; calm or allay.
verb
0
1
To put up to or against something.

Lay an ear to the door.

verb
0
1
To put forward as a reproach or an accusation.

They laid the blame on us.

verb
0
1
To impose as a burden or punishment.

Lay a penalty upon the offender.

verb
0
1
To present for examination.

Lay a case before a committee.

verb
0
1
lay down the law
  • To issue orders or instructions sharply or imperiously.
idiom
0
0
(informal) lay it on thick
  • To exaggerate or overstate something.
idiom
0
0
lay low
  • To keep oneself or one's plans hidden.
  • To bide one's time but remain ready for action.
  • To cause to be dead or unable to get up from a lying position:
    How many soldiers were laid low in that battle? The flu has laid low thousands.
idiom
0
0
lay of the land
  • The nature, arrangement, or disposition of something.
idiom
0
0
(slang) lay rubber
  • To accelerate a motor vehicle suddenly from a stop so that the wheels spin rapidly.
idiom
0
0
lay waste
  • To ravage:
    Rebel troops laid waste the town.
idiom
0
0
lay about one
  • to deliver blows on all sides; strike out in every direction
idiom
0
0
lay a course
  • to proceed in a certain direction without the need for tacking
  • to make plans to do something
idiom
0
0
lay aside
  • to put to one side; lay out of the way
  • to save; lay away
idiom
0
0
lay away
  • to set aside for future use; save
  • to set (merchandise) aside for future delivery
  • to bury
idiom
0
0
lay by
  • to save; lay away
idiom
0
0
lay down
  • to sacrifice or give up (one's life)
  • to assert or declare emphatically
  • to bet; wager
  • to store away, as wine in a cellar
idiom
0
0
lay for
  • to be waiting to attack
idiom
0
0
lay in
  • to get and store away
idiom
0
0
(informal) lay into
  • to attack and hit repeatedly; beat
  • to attack with words; scold
idiom
0
0
(informal) lay it on (thick)
  • to exaggerate or overdo
  • to express praise effusively
idiom
0
0
lay low
idiom
0
0
lay off
  • to put (a garment, etc.) aside
  • to put (an employee) out of work, esp. temporarily
  • to mark off the boundaries of
  • to transfer part of (a bet) to another bookmaker so as to minimize risk
idiom
0
0
lay on
  • to spread on
  • to attack with force; strike repeatedly
idiom
0
0
lay oneself open
  • to expose oneself to attack, blame, etc.
idiom
0
0
lay open
  • to open up; cut open
  • to expose; uncover
idiom
0
0
lay out
  • to spend
  • to arrange according to a plan
  • to spread out (clothes, equipment, etc.) ready for wear, inspection, etc.
  • to make (a corpse) ready for burial and for viewing, as at a wake
  • to knock down or make unconscious
  • to scold or censure (someone)
idiom
0
0
lay over
  • to stop a while in a place during a journey before going on
idiom
0
0
(slang) lay something on someone
  • to tell something to someone
  • to give something to someone
idiom
0
0
lay to
  • to attribute to; credit to or blame on
  • to apply oneself with vigor
idiom
0
0
lay to rest
  • to bury; inter
idiom
0
0
lay up
  • to store for future use; hoard
  • to disable; confine to bed or the sickroom
    laid up with the flu.
  • to take (a ship) out of operation, as by putting into a dry dock for repairs
idiom
0
0

Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
lay
Plural:
lays

Origin of lay

  • 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 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

  • From Old French lai

    From Wiktionary

  • From the verb.

    From Wiktionary