[verb in-ley, in-ley; noun in-ley]
- to decorate (an object) with layers of fine materials set in its surface: to inlay a chest with lighter wood.
- to insert or apply (layers of fine materials) in the surface of an object: to inlay marble in a tabletop.
- Horticulture. to place (a fitted scion) into a prepared stock, as in a method of grafting.
- inlaid work.
- a layer of fine material inserted in something else, especially for ornament.
- a design or decoration made by inlaying.
- Dentistry. a filling of metal, porcelain, or the like, that is first shaped to fit a cavity and then cemented into it.
- Horticulture. inlay graft.
- the act or process of inlaying.
Origin of inlay
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for inlay
With illustrations and inlay cover picture by Harrison Fisher.The Rose of Old St. Louis
Closely related to patchwork, but not as commonly used, is “inlay.”Quilts
Marie D. Webster
Further, they often patch together pieces of this kind of inlay.Art in Needlework
Lewis F. Day
This is actually done with the working drawing by the inlay cutter.Line and Form (1900)
With illustrations in colors, and inlay cover by George Wright.Fair Margaret
Francis Marion Crawford
- to decorate (an article, esp of furniture, or a surface) by inserting pieces of wood, ivory, etc, into prepared slots in the surface
- dentistry a filling, made of gold, porcelain, etc, inserted into a cavity and held in position by cement
- decoration made by inlaying
- an inlaid article, surface, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for inlay
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A solid filling, as of gold or porcelain, fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.
- A graft of bone, skin, or other tissue.
- An orthomechanical device inserted into a shoe.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.