[re.lay] n (1659) 1 a: a supply (as of horses) arranged beforehand for successive relief b: a number of persons who relieve others in some work "worked in ~s around the clock"
2. a: a race between teams in which each team member successively covers a specified portion of the course b: one of the divisions of a relay
3: an electromagnetic device for remote or automatic control that is actuated by variation in conditions of an electric circuit and that operates in turn other devices (as switches) in the same or a different circuit
5: the act of passing along (as a message or ball) by stages; also: one of such stages
re.lay vt re.layed ; re.lay.ing [ME, to hunt with relays, fr. MF relaier, fr. OF, fr. re- + laier to leave--more at delay] (1788) 1 a: to place or dispose in relays b: to provide with relays
2: to pass along by relays "news was ~ed to distant points"
3: to control or operate by a relay re.lay vt -laid ; -lay.ing [re- + lay] (1757): to lay again "~ track"