- past participle of overlie.
- to lie over or upon, as a covering or stratum.
- to smother (an infant) by lying upon it, as in sleep.
Origin of overlie
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for overlain
A soft carpet, overlain with brown linen, is spread from the curbstone into the hall.An Outcast
F. Colburn Adams
There was one creature in the crowd that was not to be overlain by the others.The Giraffe Hunters
The deposits are overlain by several hundred feet of loose, water-bearing sands, through which it is difficult to sink a shaft.The Economic Aspect of Geology
C. K. Leith
They are often overlain by schists and quartzites, or broken through by volcanic masses.
The drawn, haggard mask that had overlain her face so many months was dissolved away in an utter unconsciousness.The Squirrel-Cage
- to lie or rest uponCompare overlay
- to kill (a baby or newborn animal) by lying upon it
Word Origin and History for overlain
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper