Idioms

    get laid, Slang: Vulgar. to have sexual intercourse.
    lay aboard, Nautical. (formerly, of a fighting ship) to come alongside (another fighting ship) in order to board.
    lay about one,
    1. to strike or aim blows in every direction.
    2. to proceed to do; set about.
    lay a course,
    1. Nautical.to sail in the desired direction without tacking.
    2. to proceed according to a plan.
    lay close, Nautical. (of a sailing vessel) to sail close to the wind.
    lay it on, to exaggerate in one's speech or actions, especially to engage in exaggerated flattery or reproof: She was glad to be told what a splendid person she was, but they didn't have to lay it on so much.Also lay it on thick.
    lay oneself out, Informal. to try one's best; make a great effort: They laid themselves out to see that the reception would be a success.
    lay siege to. siege(def 9).

Origin of lay

1
before 900; Middle English layen, leggen, Old English lecgan (causative of licgan to lie2); cognate with Dutch leggen, German legen, Old Norse legja, Gothic lagjan
Can be confusedlay lie2 (see usage note at the current entry)downsize fire lay off rightsize terminatelay off layoff

Synonyms for lay

1. deposit. See put. 22. calm, still, quiet.

Usage note

Lay1 and lie2 are often confused. Lay is most commonly a transitive verb and takes an object. Its forms are regular. If “place” or “put” can be substituted in a sentence, a form of lay is called for: Lay the folders on the desk. The mason is laying brick. She laid the baby in the crib. Lay also has many intransitive senses, among them “to lay eggs” ( The hens have stopped laying ), and it forms many phrasal verbs, such as lay off “to dismiss (from employment)” or “to stop annoying or teasing” and lay over “to make a stop.”
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.

lie

2
[lahy]

verb (used without object), lay, lain, ly·ing.

to be in a horizontal, recumbent, or prostrate position, as on a bed or the ground; recline.
(of objects) to rest in a horizontal or flat position: The book lies on the table.
to be or remain in a position or state of inactivity, subjection, restraint, concealment, etc.: to lie in ambush.
to rest, press, or weigh (usually followed by on or upon): These things lie upon my mind.
to depend (usually followed by on or upon).
to be placed or situated: land lying along the coast.
to be stretched out or extended: the broad plain that lies before us.
to be in or have a specified direction; extend: The trail from here lies to the west.
to be found or located in a particular area or place: The fault lies here.
to consist or be grounded (usually followed by in): The real remedy lies in education.
to be buried in a particular spot: Their ancestors lie in the family plot.
Law. to be sustainable or admissible, as an action or appeal.
Archaic. to lodge; stay the night; sojourn.

noun

the manner, relative position, or direction in which something lies: the lie of the patio, facing the water.
the haunt or covert of an animal.
Golf. the position of the ball relative to how easy or how difficult it is to play.

Verb Phrases

lie by,
  1. to pause for rest; stop activities, work, etc., temporarily.
  2. to lie unused: Ever since the last member of the family died, the old house has lain by.
lie down, to assume a horizontal or prostrate position, as for the purpose of resting.
lie in,
  1. to be confined to bed in childbirth.
  2. Chiefly British.to stay in bed longer than usual, especially in the morning.
lie over, to be postponed for attention or action at some future time: The other business on the agenda will have to lie over until the next meeting.
lie up,
  1. to lie at rest; stay in bed.
  2. (of a ship) to dock or remain in dock.
lie with,
  1. to be the duty or function of: The decision in this matter lies with him.
  2. Archaic.to have sexual intercourse with.

Idioms

    lie down on the job, Informal. to do less than one could or should do; shirk one's obligations.
    lie in state. state(def 24).
    lie low. low1(def 51).
    lie to, Nautical. (of a ship) to lie comparatively stationary, usually with the head as near the wind as possible.
    take lying down, to hear or yield without protest, contradiction, or resistance: I refuse to take such an insult lying down.

Origin of lie

2
before 900; Middle English lien, liggen, Old English licgan; cognate with German liegen, Dutch liggen, Old Norse liggja, Gothic ligan; akin to Greek léchesthai to lie down

Usage note

See lay1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for lay over

lay over

verb (adverb)

(tr) to postpone for future action
(intr) to make a temporary stop in a journey

noun layover

a break in a journey, esp in waiting for a connection

Lie

noun

Trygve Halvdan (ˈtryɡvə ˈhalðan). 1896–1968, Norwegian statesman; first secretary-general of the United Nations (1946–52)

lay

1

verb lays, laying or laid (leɪd) (mainly tr)

to put in a low or horizontal position; cause to lieto lay a cover on a bed
to place, put, or be in a particular state or positionhe laid his finger on his lips
(intr) not standard to be in a horizontal position; liehe often lays in bed all the morning
(sometimes foll by down) to establish as a basisto lay a foundation for discussion
to place or dispose in the proper positionto lay a carpet
to arrange (a table) for eating a meal
to prepare (a fire) for lighting by arranging fuel in the grate
(also intr) (of birds, esp the domestic hen) to produce (eggs)
to present or put forwardhe laid his case before the magistrate
to impute or attributeall the blame was laid on him
to arrange, devise, or prepareto lay a trap
to place, set, or locatethe scene is laid in London
to apply on or as if on a surfaceto lay a coat of paint
to impose as a penalty or burdento lay a fine
to make (a bet) with (someone)I lay you five to one on Prince
to cause to settleto lay the dust
to allay; suppressto lay a rumour
to bring down forcefullyto lay a whip on someone's back
slang to have sexual intercourse with
slang to bet on (a horse) to lose a race
to press down or make smoothto lay the nap of cloth
to cut (small trunks or branches of shrubs or trees) halfway through and bend them diagonally to form a hedgeto lay a hedge
to arrange and twist together (strands) in order to form (a rope, cable, etc)
military to apply settings of elevation and training to (a weapon) prior to firing
(foll by on) hunting to put (hounds or other dogs) onto a scent
another word for inlay
(intr; often foll by to or out) dialect, or informal to plan, scheme, or devise
(intr) nautical to move or go, esp into a specified position or directionto lay close to the wind
lay aboard nautical (formerly) to move alongside a warship to board it
lay a course
  1. nauticalto sail on a planned course without tacking
  2. to plan an action
lay bare to reveal or explainhe laid bare his plans
lay hands on See hands (def. 12)
lay hold of to seize or grasp
lay oneself open to make oneself vulnerable (to criticism, attack, etc)by making such a statement he laid himself open to accusations of favouritism
lay open to reveal or disclose
lay siege to to besiege (a city, etc)

noun

the manner or position in which something lies or is placed
taboo, slang
  1. an act of sexual intercourse
  2. a sexual partner
a portion of the catch or the profits from a whaling or fishing expedition
the amount or direction of hoist in the strands of a rope

Word Origin for lay

Old English lecgan; related to Gothic lagjan, Old Norse leggja

usage

In careful English, the verb lay is used with an object and lie without one: the soldier laid down his arms; the Queen laid a wreath; the book was lying on the table; he was lying on the floor. In informal English, lay is frequently used for lie: the book was laying on the table. All careful writers and speakers observe the distinction even in informal contexts

lay

2

adjective

of, involving, or belonging to people who are not clergy
nonprofessional or nonspecialist; amateur

Word Origin for lay

C14: from Old French lai, from Late Latin lāicus, ultimately from Greek laos people

lay

3

noun

a ballad or short narrative poem, esp one intended to be sung
a song or melody

Word Origin for lay

C13: from Old French lai, perhaps of Germanic origin

lay

4

verb

the past tense of lie 2

lie

1

verb lies, lying or lied

(intr) to speak untruthfully with intent to mislead or deceive
(intr) to convey a false impression or practise deceptionthe camera does not lie

noun

an untrue or deceptive statement deliberately used to mislead
something that is deliberately intended to deceive
give the lie to
  1. to disprove
  2. to accuse of lying
Related formsRelated adjective: mendacious

Word Origin for lie

Old English lyge (n), lēogan (vb); related to Old High German liogan, Gothic liugan

lie

2

verb lies, lying, lay (leɪ) or lain (leɪn) (intr)

(often foll by down) to place oneself or be in a prostrate position, horizontal to the ground
to be situated, esp on a horizontal surfacethe pencil is lying on the desk; India lies to the south of Russia
to be buriedhere lies Jane Brown
(copula) to be and remain (in a particular state or condition)to lie dormant
to stretch or extendthe city lies before us
(usually foll by on or upon) to rest or weighmy sins lie heavily on my mind
(usually foll by in) to exist or consist inherentlystrength lies in unity
(foll by with)
  1. to be or rest (with)the ultimate decision lies with you
  2. archaicto have sexual intercourse (with)
(of an action, claim, appeal, etc) to subsist; be maintainable or admissible
archaic to stay temporarily
lie in state See state (def. 13)
lie low
  1. to keep or be concealed or quiet
  2. to wait for a favourable opportunity

noun

the manner, place, or style in which something is situated
the hiding place or lair of an animal
golf
  1. the position of the ball after a shota bad lie
  2. the angle made by the shaft of the club before the upswing
lie of the land
  1. the topography of the land
  2. the way in which a situation is developing or people are behaving

Word Origin for lie

Old English licgan akin to Old High German ligen to lie, Latin lectus bed

xref

See lay 1
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 lay over

lie

n.2

"manner of lying," 1690s, from lie (v.2). Sense in golf is from 1857.

lay

v.

Old English lecgan "to place on the ground (or other surface)," also "put down (often by striking)," from Proto-Germanic *lagjanan (cf. Old Saxon leggian, Old Norse leggja, Old Frisian ledza, Middle Dutch legghan, Dutch leggen, Old High German lecken, German legen, Gothic lagjan "to lay, put, place"), causative of lie (v.2). As a noun, from 1550s, "act of laying." Meaning "way in which something is laid" (e.g. lay of the land) first recorded 1819.

Meaning "have sex with" first recorded 1934, in U.S. slang, probably from sense of "deposit" (which was in Old English, as in lay an egg, lay a bet, etc.), perhaps reinforced by to lie with, a phrase frequently met in the Bible. The noun meaning "woman available for sexual intercourse" is attested from 1930, but there are suggestions of it in stage puns from as far back as 1767. To lay for (someone) "await a chance at revenge" is from late 15c.; lay low "stay inconspicuous" is from 1839. To lay (someone) low preserves the secondary Old English sense.

lay

adj.

"uneducated; non-clerical," early 14c., from Old French lai "secular, not of the clergy" (Modern French laïque), from Late Latin laicus, from Greek laikos "of the people," from laos "people," of unknown origin. In Middle English, contrasted with learned, a sense revived 1810 for "non-expert."

lay

n.

"short song," mid-13c., from Old French lai "song, lyric," of unknown origin, perhaps from Celtic (cf. Irish laid "song, poem," Gaelic laoidh "poem, verse, play") because the earliest verses so called were Arthurian ballads, but OED finds this "out of the question" and prefers a theory which traces it to a Germanic source, cf. Old High German leich "play, melody, song."

lie

v.1

"speak falsely, tell an untruth," late 12c., from Old English legan, ligan, earlier leogan "deceive, belie, betray" (class II strong verb; past tense leag, past participle logen), from Proto-Germanic *leugan (cf. Old Norse ljuga, Danish lyve, Old Frisian liaga, Old Saxon and Old High German liogan, German lügen, Gothic liugan), from PIE root *leugh- "to tell a lie."

lie

v.2

"rest horizontally," early 12c., from Old English licgan (class V strong verb; past tense læg, past participle legen) "be situated, reamin; be at rest, lie down," from Proto-Germanic *legjanan (cf. Old Norse liggja, Old Frisian lidzia, Middle Dutch ligghen, Dutch liggen, Old High German ligen, German liegen, Gothic ligan), from PIE *legh- "to lie, lay" (cf. Hittite laggari "falls, lies," Greek lekhesthai "to lie down," Latin lectus "bed," Old Church Slavonic lego "to lie down," Lithuanian at-lagai "fallow land," Old Irish laigim "I lie down," Irish luighe "couch, grave"). To lie with "have sexual intercourse" is from c.1300, and cf. Old English licgan mid "cohabit with." To take (something) lying down "passively, submissively" is from 1854.

lie

n.1

"an untruth," Old English lyge "lie, falsehood," from Proto-Germanic *lugiz (cf. Old Norse lygi, Danish løgn, Old Frisian leyne (fem.), Dutch leugen (fem.), Old High German lugi, German Lüge, Gothic liugn "a lie"), from the root of lie (v.1). To give the lie to "accuse directly of lying" is attested from 1590s. Lie-detector first recorded 1909.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lay over in Medicine

lie

[lī]

n.

The manner or position in which something is situated, especially the relation that the long axis of a fetus bears to that of its mother.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with lay over

lay over

1

Postpone, as in This issue will have to be laid over until our next meeting. [Late 1800s]

2

Make a stop in the course of a journey, as in They had to lay over for two days in New Delhi until the next flight to Katmandu. This sense gave rise to the noun lay-over for such a stopover. [Late 1800s]

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

also see:

  • let it lay

Also see underlaid uplieput.

lie

In addition to the idioms beginning with lie

  • lie down
  • lie in
  • lie in state
  • lie in wait
  • lie low
  • lie through one's teeth
  • lie with

also see:

  • barefaced lie
  • give the lie to
  • (lie) in state
  • lay of the land (how the land lies)
  • let sleeping dogs lie
  • make one's bed and lie in it
  • take lying down
  • white lie
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.