the wearing of lightweight or unconstructed garments one upon the other, as to create a fashionable ensemble or to provide warmth without undue bulkiness or heaviness.
Tailoring. the trimming of multiple layers of fabric at the seam allowance of a garment so as to prevent a ridge on the face of the garment when the seam is sewn.
Horticulture. Also lay·er·age [ley-er-ij] /ˈleɪ ər ɪdʒ/. a method of propagating plants by causing their shoots to take root while still attached to the parent plant.

Origin of layering




a thickness of some material laid on or spread over a surface: a layer of soot on the window sill; two layers of paint.
bed; stratum: alternating layers of basalt and sandstone.
a person or thing that lays: a carpet layer.
a hen kept for egg production.
one of several items of clothing worn one on top of the other.
  1. a shoot or twig that is induced to root while still attached to the living stock, as by bending and covering with soil.
  2. a plant so propagated.
Ropemaking. a machine for laying rope or cable.

verb (used with object)

to make a layer of.
to form or arrange in layers.
to arrange or wear (clothing) in layers: You can layer this vest over a blouse or sweater.
Horticulture. to propagate by layering.

verb (used without object)

to separate into or form layers.
(of a garment) to permit of wearing in layers; be used in layering: Frilly blouses don't layer well.

Origin of layer

First recorded in 1350–1400, layer is from the Middle English word leyer, legger. See lay1, -er1
Related formslay·er·a·ble, adjectivein·ter·lay·er, nounin·ter·lay·er, verb (used with object)non·lay·ered, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for layering

Contemporary Examples of layering

Historical Examples of layering

  • Layering is a simple method by which plants may be multiplied.

    Your Plants

    James Sheehan

  • They can be propagated by layering, which is rather a slow method, or rapidly by seed.

    Talks about Flowers.

    M. D. Wellcome

  • The summer is the best period for layering the young shoots.

    Parsons on the Rose

    Samuel Browne Parsons

  • The drawback is that fewer plants can be obtained by layering than from cuttings with a given amount of wood.

  • The essentials of layering have been given, but a number of non-essentials may be helpful under some conditions.

British Dictionary definitions for layering



horticulture a method of propagation that induces a shoot or branch to take root while it is still attached to the parent plant
geology the banded appearance of certain igneous and metamorphic rocks, each band being of a different mineral composition



a thickness of some homogeneous substance, such as a stratum or a coating on a surface
one of four or more levels of vegetation defined in ecological studies: the ground or moss layer, the field or herb layer, the shrub layer, and one or more tree layers
a laying hen
  1. a shoot or branch rooted during layering
  2. a plant produced as a result of layering


to form or make a layer of (something)
to take root or cause to take root by layering

Word Origin for layer

C14 leyer, legger, from lay 1 + -er 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 layering



1832, from layer (n.). Related: Layered; layering.



late 14c., "one who or that lays" (especially stones, "a mason"), agent noun from lay (v.). Passive sense of "that which is laid over a surface" first recorded 1610s, but because earliest English use was in cookery, this is perhaps from French liue "binding," used of a thickened sauce. Layer cake attested from 1881.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

layering in Medicine




A single thickness of a material covering a surface or forming an overlying part or segment.


To divide or form into layers.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.