[ lahy ]
See synonyms for lie on
  1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth.

  2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture: His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.

  1. an inaccurate or untrue statement; falsehood: When I went to school, history books were full of lies, and I won't teach lies to kids.

  2. the charge or accusation of telling a lie: He flung the lie back at his accusers.

verb (used without object),lied, ly·ing.
  1. to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.

  2. to express what is false; convey a false impression.

verb (used with object),lied, ly·ing.
  1. to bring about or affect by lying (often used reflexively):to lie oneself out of a difficulty; accustomed to lying his way out of difficulties.

Idioms about lie

  1. give the lie to,

    • to accuse of lying; contradict.

    • to prove or imply the falsity of; belie: His poor work gives the lie to his claims of experience.

  2. lie in one's throat / teeth, to lie grossly or maliciously: If she told you exactly the opposite of what she told me, she must be lying in her teeth.: Also lie through one's teeth.

Origin of lie

First recorded before 900; (noun) Middle English leye, lighe; Old English lyge, lige; cognate with German Lüge, Old Norse lygi; akin to Gothic liugn; (verb) Middle English lien, ligen, leie, Old English lēogan (intransitive); cognate with German lügen, Old Norse ljūga, Gothic liugan

synonym study For lie

1. See falsehood.

Other words for lie

Opposites for lie

Words that may be confused with lie

Words Nearby lie

Other definitions for lie (2 of 3)

[ lahy ]

verb (used without object),lay, lain, ly·ing.
  1. to be in a horizontal, recumbent, or prostrate position, as on a bed or the ground; recline.

  2. (of objects) to rest in a horizontal or flat position: The book lies on the table.

  1. to be or remain in a position or state of inactivity, subjection, restraint, concealment, etc.: to lie in ambush.

  2. to rest, press, or weigh (usually followed by on or upon): These things lie upon my mind.

  3. to depend (usually followed by on or upon).

  4. to be placed or situated: land lying along the coast.

  5. to be stretched out or extended: the broad plain that lies before us.

  6. to be in or have a specified direction; extend: The trail from here lies to the west.

  7. to be found or located in a particular area or place: The fault lies here.

  8. to consist or be grounded (usually followed by in): The real remedy lies in education.

  9. to be buried in a particular spot: Their ancestors lie in the family plot.

  10. Law. to be sustainable or admissible, as an action or appeal.

  11. Archaic. to lodge; stay the night; sojourn.

  1. the manner, relative position, or direction in which something lies: the lie of the patio, facing the water.

  2. the haunt or covert of an animal.

  1. Golf. the position of the ball relative to how easy or how difficult it is to play.

Verb Phrases
  1. lie by,

    • to pause for rest; stop activities, work, etc., temporarily.

    • to lie unused: Ever since the last member of the family died, the old house has lain by.

  2. lie down, to assume a horizontal or prostrate position, as for the purpose of resting.

  1. lie in,

    • to be confined to bed in childbirth.

    • Chiefly British. to stay in bed longer than usual, especially in the morning.

  2. 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.

  3. lie up,

    • to lie at rest; stay in bed.

    • (of a ship) to dock or remain in dock.

  4. lie with,

    • to be the duty or function of: The decision in this matter lies with him.

    • Archaic. to have sexual intercourse with.

Origin of lie

First recorded 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”

confusables note For lie

See lay1.

Other words for lie

Opposites for lie

Other definitions for Lie (3 of 3)

[ lee ]

  1. Jonas, 1880–1940, U.S. painter, born in Norway.

  2. (Ma·ri·us) So·phus [mah-ree-oos soh-foos], /ˌmɑ ri ʊs ˈsoʊ fʊs/, 1842–99, Norwegian mathematician.

  1. Tryg·ve Halv·dan [trig-vuh-hahlv-dahn; Norwegian tryg-vuh-hahlv-dahn], /ˈtrɪg və ˈhɑlv dɑn; Norwegian ˈtrüg və ˈhɑlv dɑn/, 1896–1968, Norwegian statesman: secretary-general of the United Nations 1946–53. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use lie in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for lie (1 of 3)


/ (laɪ) /

verblies, lying or lied
  1. (intr) to speak untruthfully with intent to mislead or deceive

  2. (intr) to convey a false impression or practise deception: the camera does not lie

  1. an untrue or deceptive statement deliberately used to mislead

  2. something that is deliberately intended to deceive

  1. give the lie to

    • to disprove

    • to accuse of lying

Origin of lie

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

Other words from lie

  • Related adjective: mendacious

British Dictionary definitions for lie (2 of 3)


/ (laɪ) /

verblies, lying, lay (leɪ) or lain (leɪn) (intr)
  1. (often foll by down) to place oneself or be in a prostrate position, horizontal to the ground

  2. to be situated, esp on a horizontal surface: the pencil is lying on the desk; India lies to the south of Russia

  1. to be buried: here lies Jane Brown

  2. (copula) to be and remain (in a particular state or condition): to lie dormant

  3. to stretch or extend: the city lies before us

  4. (usually foll by on or upon) to rest or weigh: my sins lie heavily on my mind

  5. (usually foll by in) to exist or consist inherently: strength lies in unity

  6. (foll by with)

    • to be or rest (with): the ultimate decision lies with you

    • archaic to have sexual intercourse (with)

  7. (of an action, claim, appeal, etc) to subsist; be maintainable or admissible

  8. archaic to stay temporarily

  9. lie in state See state (def. 13)

  10. lie low

    • to keep or be concealed or quiet

    • to wait for a favourable opportunity

  1. the manner, place, or style in which something is situated

  2. the hiding place or lair of an animal

  1. golf

    • the position of the ball after a shot: a bad lie

    • the angle made by the shaft of the club before the upswing

  2. lie of the land

    • the topography of the land

    • the way in which a situation is developing or people are behaving

Origin of lie

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


See lay 1

British Dictionary definitions for Lie (3 of 3)


/ (liː) /

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

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with 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.