lay


lay
lay1
verb (past and past participle laid)
1》 put down, especially gently or carefully.
2》 put down and set in position for use.
    ↘Brit. set cutlery on (a table) in preparation for a meal.
    ↘put the material for (a fire) in place.
    ↘prepare (a trap).
    ↘(lay something before) present material for consideration and action to (someone).
3》 (with an abstract noun) put or place: lay the blame.
4》 (of a female bird, reptile, etc.) produce (an egg) from inside the body.
5》 stake (an amount of money) in a wager.
6》 cause (a ghost) to stop appearing; exorcize.
7》 vulgar slang have sexual intercourse with.
8》 trim (a hedge) by cutting the branches half through, bending them down, and interweaving them.
9》 Nautical follow (a specified course).
noun
1》 the general appearance of an area of land.
    ↘the position or direction in which something lies: roll the carpet against the lay of the nap.
2》 vulgar slang a sexual partner or act of sexual intercourse.
3》 the laying of eggs or the period during which they are laid.
Phrases
lay claim to assert one's right to or possession of.
lay hands on find and take possession of or acquire.
lay hold of (or on) catch at or gain possession of.
lay someone low reduce someone to inactivity, illness, or a lowly position.
lay something on thick (or with a trowel) informal grossly exaggerate or overemphasize something.
lay someone open to expose someone to the risk of.
lay someone/thing to rest
1》 bury a body in a grave.
2》 soothe and dispel fear, anxiety, etc.
Phrasal verbs
lay about Brit. beat or attack violently.
↘(lay about one) strike out wildly on all sides.
lay something down
1》 formulate and enact a rule or principle.
2》 begin to construct a ship or railway.
3》 build up a deposit of a substance.
4》 store wine in a cellar.
5》 pay or bet money.
6》 informal record a piece of music.
lay something in/up build up a stock of something in case of need.
lay into informal attack violently.
lay off informal give up.
lay someone off discharge a worker temporarily or permanently because of a shortage of work.
lay something off
1》 chiefly Soccer pass the ball to a teammate.
2》 (of a bookmaker) insure against a loss resulting from a large bet by placing a similar bet with another bookmaker.
lay something on Brit. provide a service or amenity.
lay someone out
1》 prepare someone for burial after death.
2》 informal knock someone unconscious.
lay something out
1》 spread something out to its full extent.
2》 construct or arrange buildings or gardens according to a plan.
    ↘arrange and present material for printing and publication.
3》 informal spend a sum of money.
lay someone up put someone out of action through illness or injury.
lay something up
1》 see lay something in.
2》 take a ship or other vehicle out of service.
Origin
OE lecgan, of Gmc origin; related to lie1.
Usage
The words lay and lie are often used incorrectly. Lay means, broadly, ‘put something down’, as in they are going to lay the carpet, whereas lie means ‘be in a horizontal position to rest’, as in why don't you lie down? The past tense and the past participle of lay is laid (they laid the carpet); the past tense of lie is lay (he lay on the floor) and the past participle is lain (she had lain awake for hours).
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lay2
adjective
1》 not ordained into or belonging to the clergy.
2》 not having professional qualifications or expert knowledge.
Origin
ME: from OFr. lai, via late L. from Gk laïkos, from laos 'people'.
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lay3
noun
1》 a short lyric or narrative poem meant to be sung.
2》 literary a song.
Origin
ME: from OFr. lai, corresp. to Provençal lais, of unknown origin.
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lay4
past of lie1.

English new terms dictionary. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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