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overlain

[oh-ver-leyn]
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verb
  1. past participle of overlie.
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overlie

[oh-ver-lahy]
verb (used with object), o·ver·lay, o·ver·lain, o·ver·ly·ing.
  1. to lie over or upon, as a covering or stratum.
  2. to smother (an infant) by lying upon it, as in sleep.
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Origin of overlie

First recorded in 1125–75, overlie is from the Middle English word overlien, overliggen. See over-, lie2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for overlain

Historical Examples

  • 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 deposits are overlain by several hundred feet of loose, water-bearing sands, through which it is difficult to sink a shaft.

  • 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

    Dorothy Canfield


British Dictionary definitions for overlain

overlie

verb -lies, -lying, -lay or -lain (tr)
  1. to lie or rest uponCompare overlay
  2. to kill (a baby or newborn animal) by lying upon it
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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

Word Origin and History for overlain

overlie

v.

late 12c., from over- + lie (v.2), or from an unrecorded Old English *oferlicgan. "In use from 12th to 16th c.; in 17-18th displaced by overlay; reintroduced in 19th c., chiefly in geological use." [OED]. Related: Overlay; overlain.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper