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
verb lies, lying or lied
- to disprove
- to accuse of lying
Word Origin for lie
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
"manner of lying," 1690s, from lie (v.2). Sense in golf is from 1857.
"speak falsely, tell an untruth," late 12c., from Old English legan, ligan, earlier leogan "deceive, belie, betray" (class II strong verb; past tense leag, past participle logen), from Proto-Germanic *leugan (cf. Old Norse ljuga, Danish lyve, Old Frisian liaga, Old Saxon and Old High German liogan, German lügen, Gothic liugan), from PIE root *leugh- "to tell a lie."
"rest horizontally," early 12c., from Old English licgan (class V strong verb; past tense læg, past participle legen) "be situated, reamin; be at rest, lie down," from Proto-Germanic *legjanan (cf. Old Norse liggja, Old Frisian lidzia, Middle Dutch ligghen, Dutch liggen, Old High German ligen, German liegen, Gothic ligan), from PIE *legh- "to lie, lay" (cf. Hittite laggari "falls, lies," Greek lekhesthai "to lie down," Latin lectus "bed," Old Church Slavonic lego "to lie down," Lithuanian at-lagai "fallow land," Old Irish laigim "I lie down," Irish luighe "couch, grave"). To lie with "have sexual intercourse" is from c.1300, and cf. Old English licgan mid "cohabit with." To take (something) lying down "passively, submissively" is from 1854.
"an untruth," Old English lyge "lie, falsehood," from Proto-Germanic *lugiz (cf. Old Norse lygi, Danish løgn, Old Frisian leyne (fem.), Dutch leugen (fem.), Old High German lugi, German Lüge, Gothic liugn "a lie"), from the root of lie (v.1). To give the lie to "accuse directly of lying" is attested from 1590s. Lie-detector first recorded 1909.
see take lying down. Also see lie down.
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