Meaning of LAY in English


v. & n.

v. (past and past part. laid) 1 tr. place on a surface, esp. horizontally or in the proper or specified place. 2 tr. put or bring into a certain or the required position or state (laid his hand on her arm; lay a carpet). 3 intr. dial. or erron. lie. °This use, incorrect in standard English, is probably partly encouraged by confusion with lay as the past of lie, as in the dog lay on the floor which is correct; the dog is laying on the floor is not correct. 4 tr. make by laying (lay the foundations). 5 tr. (often absol.) (of a hen bird) produce (an egg). 6 tr. a cause to subside or lie flat. b deal with to remove (a ghost, fear, etc.). 7 tr. place or present for consideration (a case, proposal, etc.). 8 tr. set down as a basis or starting-point. 9 tr. (usu. foll. by on) attribute or impute (blame etc.). 10 tr. locate (a scene etc.) in a certain place. 11 tr. prepare or make ready (a plan or a trap). 12 tr. prepare (a table) for a meal. 13 tr. place or arrange the material for (a fire). 14 tr. put down as a wager; stake. 15 tr. (foll. by with) coat or strew (a surface). 16 tr. sl. offens. have sexual intercourse with (esp. a woman).

n. 1 the way, position, or direction in which something lies. 2 sl. offens. a partner (esp. female) in sexual intercourse. 3 the direction or amount of twist in rope-strands. in lay (of a hen) laying eggs regularly. laid-back colloq. relaxed, unbothered, easygoing. laid paper paper with the surface marked in fine ribs. laid up confined to bed or the house. lay about one 1 hit out on all sides. 2 criticize indiscriminately. lay aside 1 put to one side. 2 cease to practise or consider. 3 save (money etc.) for future needs. lay at the door of see DOOR. lay back cause to slope back from the vertical. lay bare expose, reveal. lay a charge make an accusation. lay claim to claim as one's own. lay down 1 put on the ground. 2 relinquish; give up (an office). 3 formulate (a rule or principle). 4 pay or wager (money). 5 begin to construct (a ship or railway). 6 store (wine) in a cellar. 7 set down on paper. 8 sacrifice (one's life). 9 convert (land) into pasture. 10 record (esp. popular music). lay down the law see LAW. lay one's hands on obtain, acquire, locate. lay hands on 1 seize or attack. 2 place one's hands on or over, esp. in confirmation, ordination, or spiritual healing. lay hold of seize or grasp. lay in provide oneself with a stock of. lay into colloq. punish or scold heavily. lay it on thick (or with a trowel) colloq. flatter or exaggerate grossly. lay low overthrow, kill, or humble. lay off 1 discharge (workers) temporarily because of a shortage of work. 2 colloq. desist. lay-off n. 1 a temporary discharge of workers. 2 a period when this is in force. lay on 1 provide (a facility, amenity, etc.). 2 impose (a penalty, obligation, etc.). 3 inflict (blows). 4 spread on (paint etc.). lay on the table see TABLE. lay open 1 break the skin of. 2 (foll. by to) expose (to criticism etc.). lay out 1 spread out. 2 expose to view. 3 prepare (a corpse) for burial. 4 colloq. knock unconscious. 5 dispose (grounds etc.) according to a plan. 6 expend (money). 7 refl. (foll. by to + infin.) take pains (to do something) (laid themselves out to help). lay store by see STORE. lay to rest bury in a grave. lay up 1 store, save. 2 put (a ship etc.) out of service. lay waste see WASTE.

[ OE lecgan f. Gmc ]

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