[ lahy ]
/ laɪ /
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.
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.
- 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.
lie down, to assume a horizontal or prostrate position, as for the purpose of resting.
- to be confined to bed in childbirth.
- 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.
- 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.
How To Use “Lay” vs. “Lie”The difference between the verbs lay and lie is one of English’s most confusing questions. Both words involve something or someone in a horizontal position, but where the two words deviate has to do with who or what is horizontal.
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 lie2
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for lie to (1 of 4)
(intr, adverb) nautical (of a vessel) to be hove to with little or no swinging
British Dictionary definitions for lie to (2 of 4)
/ (liː) /
Trygve Halvdan (ˈtryɡvə ˈhalðan). 1896–1968, Norwegian statesman; first secretary-general of the United Nations (1946–52)
British Dictionary definitions for lie to (3 of 4)
/ (laɪ) /
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
an untrue or deceptive statement deliberately used to mislead
something that is deliberately intended to deceive
give the lie to
- to disprove
- 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
British Dictionary definitions for lie to (4 of 4)
/ (laɪ) /
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)
- to be or rest (with)the ultimate decision lies with you
- archaic to 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)
- to keep or be concealed or quiet
- to wait for a favourable opportunity
the manner, place, or style in which something is situated
the hiding place or lair of an animal
- the position of the ball after a shota bad lie
- the angle made by the shaft of the club before the upswing
lie of the land
- the topography of the land
- 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
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
Medicine definitions for lie to
[ lī ]
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 lie to
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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.