Meaning of RELAY in English


I. ˈrēˌlā noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French relais, from relaier

1. : a supply arranged beforehand for successive relief: as

a. : a supply of hunting horses or dogs kept in readiness at certain places to continue the pursuit of game if it comes that way

b. : a supply of horses placed at stations to be ready to relieve others so that a traveler may proceed without delay ; also : the post or station at which the fresh supply is obtained

c. : a number of men who relieve others in carrying on some work : a relief gang

working in relays around the clock


a. : relay race

b. : one of the legs or divisions of a relay race

c. relays plural : a track meet featuring relay races

3. : an electromagnetic device for remote or automatic control that is actuated by a variation in conditions of an electric circuit and that operates in turn other devices (as switches, circuit breakers) in the same or a different circuit

4. : servomotor

5. : the act of passing along (a message, a signal, a ball) by stages ; also : one of such stages

the shortstop's relay from center field was too late to catch the runner at the plate

6. : an arrangement by which water is pumped through two or more pumping engines in order to increase the pressure in a fire hose

7. : a bundle of relayed mail

8. : radio relay

II. “, rə̇ˈlā, rēˈ- verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English relayen, from Middle French relaier, from Old French, from re- + laier to leave — more at delay

transitive verb


a. : to place or dispose in relays

b. : to provide with relays

c. : to divide up (mail) into bundles each of which is to be placed in a storage box along a carrier's route to be picked up by him

2. : to pass along by relays

news was relayed to distant points

promised to relay my message

3. : to control or operate (as a circuit, a switch) by a relay

4. : to pump (water) through two or more pumping engines in order to increase the pressure in a fire hose

intransitive verb

1. : to obtain a fresh relay

gained time by relaying at each town

2. : to operate the contacts of a relay

III. (ˈ)rē+ transitive verb

Etymology: re- + lay (I)

: to lay again

the flagstones will have to be taken up and relaid

relaying several miles of track

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.