verb (used without object), lied, ly·ing.
verb (used with object), lied, ly·ing.
SYNONYMS FOR lie
VIDEO FOR LIE
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?
QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!
Idioms for lie
Origin of lie1
synonym study for lie
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH lielie , lye
Words nearby lie
Definition for lie (2 of 3)
verb (used without object), lay, lain, ly·ing.
- 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.
- to be confined to bed in childbirth.
- Chiefly British. to stay in bed longer than usual, especially in the morning.
- to lie at rest; stay in bed.
- (of a ship) to dock or remain in dock.
- to be the duty or function of: The decision in this matter lies with him.
- Archaic. to have sexual intercourse with.
Origin of lie2
words often confused with lie
Definition for lie (3 of 3)
LIE VS. LAY
What's the difference between lie and lay?
The sense of lie that’s often confused with lay means to be in or get into a reclining position—to recline, as in I just want to lie in bed for a few more minutes. Lay commonly means to put or place someone or something down, as in Lay the bags on the table or I’m going to lay the baby in the crib.
Though it’s considered nonstandard, lay is commonly used to mean the same thing as this sense of lie, as in I just want to lay in bed for a few more minutes.
The confusion between the two words is largely due to the fact that lay is also the past tense form of this sense of lie, as in I lay in bed yesterday morning wishing I could go back to sleep. The other tenses of this sense of lie are lain, as in I have lain in bed for the past three hours, and lying, as in I am lying in bed right now. (In contrast, when lie is used as a verb meaning to tell an untruth, its past tense is simply lied.)
The other tenses of lay are laid, as in I laid the bags on the table, and laying, as in Start laying the fruit here and the vegetables there.
Lay is typically used with an object, meaning someone or something is getting laid down by someone. In contrast, lie is something you do yourself without any other recipients of the action.
This sense of lie is commonly used in the verb phrase lie down, as in I was feeling tired so I decided to lie down. Using the phrase lay down to mean the same thing is considered nonstandard, but it’s also very common.
Lay down is also used as a verb phrase meaning about the same thing as lay, as in You can lay down your bags on the table (or You can lay your bags down on the table).
Although lay and lie are often used interchangeably in casual communication, it’s best to use them in the standard way in more formal contexts.
A good way to remember which one to use is to think about whether you could replace the word with put or recline. If you can replace it with put, you probably want to use lay, as in Please lay (put) the bags on the table. If you could replace the word with recline, you probably want to use lie, as in I just want to lie (recline) in bed for a few more minutes.
Here’s an example of lay and lie used correctly in the same sentence.
Example: He said he was just going to lay the blanket on the grass and lie on it for a few minutes, but he lied. After he laid the blanket down, he lay on it for two hours!
Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between lie and lay.
Quiz yourself on lie vs. lay!
Should lie or lay be used in the following sentence?
I’m going to _____ down to take a nap.
Example sentences from the Web for lie
They will learn that deadly incompetence, based on lies and lunacy and costing countless lives, means nothing.
That woman from George-a is foolish, full of fantasy and lies.Style Invitational Week 1425: Picture this — a cartoon caption contest|Pat Myers|February 25, 2021|Washington Post
Gilbert was given a lie detector test along with another police officer, who considered himself a friend of Lewis’ — the same officer who would call me many years later.
Another that comes to mind is how the insurrection contributed to fringe conservative media having to reckon with the fact that spreading lies about a stolen election has real-world impacts.How Has The Nation Changed Since The Insurrection At The Capitol?|Micah Cohen (firstname.lastname@example.org)|February 11, 2021|FiveThirtyEight
A lot of the problems that we’re facing are the lies that probably are going to be protected by the First Amendment.Twenty-Six Words Created the Internet. What Will It Take to Save It?|Stephen Engelberg|February 9, 2021|ProPublica
My doctor insisted that once I filed this piece I lie down on my bed and not get out.I Tried to Warn You About Sleazy Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in 2003|Vicky Ward|January 7, 2015|DAILY BEAST
I lie and nod my head yes while wiping the tears on my gray fleece sleeve.
“I knew it was a lie from the beginning,” Patrick told WLOS.
It is, in fact, legal for police to lie to suspects during interrogations.How the U.S. Justice System Screws Prisoners with Disabilities|Elizabeth Picciuto|December 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
But he drew me close And he swallowed me down, Down a dark slimy path Where lie secrets that I never want to know […].
They are ovoid in shape, and lie in pairs, end to end, often forming short chains.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis|James Campbell Todd
However this be, it is hard to say that these fibs have that clear intention to deceive which constitutes a complete lie.
The "bad form" of telling a lie to the head-master is a later illustration of the same thing.
The word of the law shall be fulfilled without a lie, and wisdom shall be made plain in the mouth of the faithful.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
The hut was barely high enough to let him sit up, and long enough to let him lie down—not to stretch out.The Giant of the North|R.M. Ballantyne
British Dictionary definitions for lie (1 of 3)
verb lies, lying or lied
- to disprove
- to accuse of lying
Other words from lieRelated adjective: mendacious
Word Origin for lie
British Dictionary definitions for lie (2 of 3)
verb lies, lying, lay (leɪ) or lain (leɪn) (intr)
- to be or rest (with)the ultimate decision lies with you
- archaic to have sexual intercourse (with)
- to keep or be concealed or quiet
- to wait for a favourable opportunity
- the position of the ball after a shota bad lie
- the angle made by the shaft of the club before the upswing
- the topography of the land
- the way in which a situation is developing or people are behaving
Word Origin for lie
British Dictionary definitions for lie (3 of 3)
Medical definitions for lie
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
- 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