Meaning of LAY in English


1. 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).


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.

Phrases and idioms:

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.

Etymology: OE lecgan f. Gmc 2. adj.1 a non-clerical. b not ordained into the clergy.

2 a not professionally qualified, esp. in law or medicine. b of or done by such persons.

Phrases and idioms:

lay brother (or sister) a person who has taken the vows of a religious order but is not ordained and is employed in ancillary or manual work. lay reader a lay person licensed to conduct some religious services.

Etymology: ME f. OF lai f. eccl.L laicus f. Gk la{iuml}kos LAIC 3. n.1 a short lyric or narrative poem meant to be sung.

2 a song.

Etymology: ME f. OF lai, Prov. lais, of unkn. orig. 4. past of LIE.

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.