verb (used with object), laid, lay·ing.
verb (used without object), laid, lay·ing.
- a partner in sexual intercourse.
- an instance of sexual intercourse.
- to reserve for later use; save.
- to hold merchandise pending final payment or request for delivery: to lay away a winter coat.
- to bury: They laid him away in the tomb.
- to put away for future use; store; save: She had managed to lay by money for college from her earnings as a babysitter.
- Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) to come to a standstill; heave to; lay to.
- Midland and Southern U.S. to tend (a crop) for the last time, leaving it to mature without further cultivation.
- to give up; yield: to lay down one's arms.
- to assert firmly; state authoritatively: to lay down rigid rules of conduct.
- to stock; store: to lay down wine.
- to produce or execute (something) successfully; throw down: In the top of the thirteenth inning, Jones laid down a perfect bunt.
- Shipbuilding. to draw at full size (the lines of a hull), as on the floor of a mold loft; lay off; loft.
- to dismiss (an employee), especially temporarily because of slack business.
- Informal. to cease or quit: He promised to lay off drinking.
- Slang. to stop annoying or teasing: Lay off me, will you?
- Informal. to stop work: They laid off at four and went home.
- to put aside or take off.
- to mark off; measure; plot.
- Slang. to give or hand over; pass on: They laid off their old sofa on the neighborhood recreation center.
- (of a bookmaker) to transfer all or part of (a wager) to other bookmakers in order to be protected against heavy losses.
- to get rid of or transfer (blame, responsibility, etc.): He tried to lay off the guilt for the crime on his son.
- Nautical. to sail away from.
- Nautical. to remain stationary at a distance from.
- Shipbuilding. lay1 (def. 47e).
- to cover with; apply: to lay on a coat of wax.
- to strike blows; attack violently: When the mob became unruly, the police began to lay on.
- Nautical. to sail toward.
- Nautical. to row (an oar) with a full stroke.
- Slang. to tell, impart, or give to: Let me lay a little good advice on you.
- Chiefly British Informal. to provide as a gift, bonus, or treat; give; treat: The owners laid on a Christmas dinner for the employees.
- to cut open: to lay open an area of tissue with a scalpel.
- to expose; reveal: Her autobiography lays open shocking facts about her childhood.
- to expose or make vulnerable, as to blame, suspicion, or criticism: He was careful not to lay himself open to charges of partiality.
- to extend at length.
- to spread out in order; arrange; prepare.
- to plan; plot; design.
- to ready (a corpse) for burial.
- Informal. to spend or contribute (money).
- Slang. to knock (someone) down or unconscious.
- Slang. to scold vehemently; reprimand: Whenever I come home late from school, my mom really lays me out.
- to make a layout of.
- Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S. to absent oneself from school or work without permission or justification; play hooky.
- to be postponed until action may be taken: The vote will have to be laid over until next week.
- to make a stop, as during a trip: We will have to lay over in Lyons on our way to the Riviera.
- Nautical. to check the motion of (a ship).
- Nautical. to put (a ship) in a dock or other place of safety.
- to attack vigorously.
- to put forth effort; apply oneself.
- to put away for future use; store up.
- to cause to be confined to bed or kept indoors; disable.
- Nautical. to retire (a ship) from active use.
- Nautical. (of a ship) to be retired from active use.
- to construct (a masonry structure): The masons laid the outer walls up in Flemish bond.
- to apply (alternate layers of a material and a binder) to form a bonded material.
VIDEO FOR LAY
WATCH NOW: Two Nerdy Steps To Learn "Lay" vs. "Lie"
When we asked this woman the difference between lay and lie ... she couldn't answer right away. Maybe her nerdy steps to learn how to use these words will help you learn the difference between lay and lie too?
BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!
Idioms for lay
- to strike or aim blows in every direction.
- to proceed to do; set about.
- Nautical. to sail in the desired direction without tacking.
- to proceed according to a plan.
Origin of lay1
synonym study for lay
words often confused with lay
Lie, with the overall senses “to be in a horizontal position, recline” and “to rest, remain, be situated, etc.,” is intransitive and takes no object. Its forms are irregular; its past tense form is identical with the present tense or infinitive form of lay : Lie down, children. Abandoned cars were lying along the road. The dog lay in the shade and watched the kittens play. The folders have lain on the desk since yesterday.
In all but the most careful, formal speech, forms of lay are commonly heard in senses normally associated with lie. In edited written English such uses of lay are rare and are usually considered nonstandard: Lay down, children. The dog laid in the shade. Abandoned cars were laying along the road. The folders have laid on the desk since yesterday.
Words nearby lay
Definition for lay (2 of 5)
Definition for lay (3 of 5)
Origin of lay3
Definition for lay (4 of 5)
Origin of lay4
Definition for lay (5 of 5)
Origin of lay5
Example sentences from the Web for lay
If the organization were in a better financial position — and hadn’t laid off around 25% of its staff this year — it may have kept Notes alive and maybe tried to rework Send.
We still think about ourselves as a startup, and when you think about yourself as a startup it’s really hard to lay off employees.Are you ready to start traveling for work again? TripActions’ CEO is banking on it|Michal Lev-Ram, writer|September 15, 2020|Fortune
If the Eagles didn’t exist, that would be the biggest egg laid on Sunday.We Knew A Football Team Would Win In Week 1. But Maybe Not ‘Football Team.’|Sara Ziegler (email@example.com)|September 14, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
Nothing protected rank-and-file employees from simply being laid off, and the prime beneficiaries have been shareholders and bondholders as the stock market has soared to new heights.The Big Corporate Rescue and the America That’s Too Small to Save|by Lydia DePillis, Justin Elliott and Paul Kiel|September 12, 2020|ProPublica
One of those who may benefit is Ed Miyoshi, who was laid off in December 2016, when he was at 57 and had worked at IBM’s Hopewell Junction, New York, facility for 35 years.The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Confirms a Pattern of Age Discrimination at IBM|by Peter Gosselin, special to ProPublica|September 11, 2020|ProPublica
One police officer was coolly dispatched as he lay wounded on the sidewalk.
Lay the butterflied pork loin on the cutting board with the fat cap facing down.Make Carla Hall’s Roasted Pork Loin With Cranberries|Carla Hall|December 24, 2014|DAILY BEAST
In their opinion, this would allow conservatives to lay a marker down on immigration while avoiding a shutdown for the time being.Bachmann and Pelosi vs. Boehner and Obama Over Spending Bill|Ben Jacobs|December 11, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Dehydrated and feeling weary, Marino lay down beside another migrant under a tree and fell asleep.
And since she was so tired, she wanted to lay down and sleep.In New Brothers Grimm 'Snow White', The Prince Doesn't Save Her|The Brothers Grimm|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Safest for him, after all, was to lay fast hold of the particularly unimportant person he was, both there and anywhere else.Lord Ormont and his Aminta, Complete|George Meredith
I learned later that he had implored the Superior on his knees not to lay this dreadful command upon him, but all in vain.The Monk and The Hangman's Daughter|Adolphe Danziger De Castro and Ambrose Bierce
At last he became worn out, and lay quite still, and thus froze fast in the ice.Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol. 2|Charles Dudley Warner
Still Maria lay upon my lap, and still I resisted every attempt that was made to remove her.Beaux and Belles of England|Mary Robinson
Lay on different parts of the skin a small, square piece of paper with a small central hole in it.A Practical Physiology|Albert F. Blaisdell
British Dictionary definitions for lay (1 of 4)
verb lays, laying or laid (leɪd) (mainly tr)
- nautical to sail on a planned course without tacking
- to plan an action
- an act of sexual intercourse
- a sexual partner
Word Origin for lay
usage for lay
British Dictionary definitions for lay (2 of 4)
Word Origin for lay
British Dictionary definitions for lay (3 of 4)
Word Origin for lay
British Dictionary definitions for lay (4 of 4)
Idioms and Phrases with lay
In addition to the idioms beginning with lay
- lay about one
- lay a finger on
- lay an egg
- lay aside
- lay at rest
- lay at someone's door
- lay a wager
- lay away
- lay by
- lay claim to
- lay down
- lay down the law
- lay eyes on
- lay for
- lay hands on
- lay hold of
- lay in
- lay into
- lay it on the line
- lay it on thick
- lay low
- lay odds
- lay off
- lay of the land, the
- lay on
- lay one's cards on the table
- lay oneself out
- lay on the line
- lay open
- lay out
- lay over
- lay someone low
- lay to rest
- lay up
- lay waste
- let it lay
Also see underlaid uplieput.