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[wey-leyd, wey-leyd] /ˈweɪˌleɪd, weɪˈleɪd/
simple past tense and past participle of waylay.


[wey-ley, wey-ley] /ˈweɪˌleɪ, weɪˈleɪ/
verb (used with object), waylaid, waylaying.
to intercept or attack from ambush, as in order to rob, seize, or slay.
to await and accost unexpectedly:
The actor was waylaid by a swarm of admirers.
Origin of waylay
1505-15; way1 + lay1, after Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen to lie in wait, derivative of wegelage a lying in wait
Related forms
waylayer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for waylaid
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Tom was taking it to a lawyer, when he was waylaid, and chloroformed.

  • The steward dogged my footsteps and waylaid me, and, by Jove!

    Adventures and Recollections Bill o'th' Hoylus End
  • It was greatly feared that they had been waylaid and captured by the savages.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott
  • The women were really on their way to the Temple when he waylaid them.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael
  • He waylaid the doctor after the examination was over and asked all kinds of questions.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The following day a party of Protestants were waylaid and beaten.

    Ireland as It Is Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
  • On the way they were waylaid by an armed squad and chased for several miles.

    They of the High Trails

    Hamlin Garland
  • He waylaid those who, coming from aloft, stood gasping for breath.

  • No doubt the Santa Theresa was a gold ship they had waylaid and sunk.

    The Pirate of Panama William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for waylaid


verb (transitive) -lays, -laying, -laid
to lie in wait for and attack
to await and intercept unexpectedly
Derived Forms
waylayer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from way + lay1
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
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Word Origin and History for waylaid



"to ambush," 1510s, from way + lay (v.), on model of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen "besetting of ways, lying in wait with evil or hostile intent along public ways."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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