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See more synonyms for layering on Thesaurus.com
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
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Origin of layering


  1. a thickness of some material laid on or spread over a surface: a layer of soot on the window sill; two layers of paint.
  2. bed; stratum: alternating layers of basalt and sandstone.
  3. a person or thing that lays: a carpet layer.
  4. a hen kept for egg production.
  5. one of several items of clothing worn one on top of the other.
  6. Horticulture.
    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.
  7. Ropemaking. a machine for laying rope or cable.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make a layer of.
  2. to form or arrange in layers.
  3. to arrange or wear (clothing) in layers: You can layer this vest over a blouse or sweater.
  4. Horticulture. to propagate by layering.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to separate into or form layers.
  2. (of a garment) to permit of wearing in layers; be used in layering: Frilly blouses don't layer well.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for layering

protect, coat, blanket, shroud, enclose, dress, bury, plate, layer, separate, flake, face, foil, split, exfoliate, stratify, veneer, foliate, scale, enamel

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

  • In nursery practice, Rotundifolia vines are trained along the ground for layering.

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

British Dictionary definitions for layering


  1. horticulture a method of propagation that induces a shoot or branch to take root while it is still attached to the parent plant
  2. geology the banded appearance of certain igneous and metamorphic rocks, each band being of a different mineral composition
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  1. a thickness of some homogeneous substance, such as a stratum or a coating on a surface
  2. 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
  3. a laying hen
  4. horticulture
    1. a shoot or branch rooted during layering
    2. a plant produced as a result of layering
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  1. to form or make a layer of (something)
  2. to take root or cause to take root by layering
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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.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

layering in Medicine


  1. A single thickness of a material covering a surface or forming an overlying part or segment.
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  1. To divide or form into layers.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.