verb (used with object), o·ver·laid, o·ver·lay·ing.
- a shaped piece of paper, or a sheet of paper reinforced at the proper places by shaped pieces, put on the tympan of a press to increase or equalize the impression.
- a method of preparing copy for multicolor printing, in which matter for each color is prepared on a transparent sheet that is placed over a key plate, usually the one to be printed in black.
- the sheet or sheets so prepared.
Origin of overlay1
verb (used with object), o·ver·lay, o·ver·lain, o·ver·ly·ing.
Origin of overlie
Examples from the Web for overlay
Contemporary Examples of overlay
Phillips mediates the darkness of the crime with an overlay of fiction.Murder, She Wrote: Jayne Anne Phillips on Her New Novel
October 21, 2013
You can also overlay census data showing where the population of women of reproductive age (15–44) live.Interactive: The Geography of Abortion Access
Michael Keller, Allison Yarrow
January 22, 2013
And the disclosure that Abedin is pregnant added an overlay of pathos to the seamy tale.Weiner’s Last Words
June 16, 2011
Waspiness is an overlay on human character, like the porcelain veneer that protects the biting surface of a damaged tooth.The Last of the Wasps
September 27, 2009
Historical Examples of overlay
Ah, no; to overlay it with new shames, to groan over in new vigils.Despair's Last Journey
David Christie Murray
There is a disagreeable saline flavour that we cannot remove nor overlay.Mushroom Culture
The top is covered with a Swiss overlay pattern, made of split sticks.Rustic Carpentry
Paul N. Hasluck
How we should tremble to overlay the record of it with our words!The Gospel of St. John
Frederick Denison Maurice
But, it may be asked, what has become of the beds that overlay the granite?A Book of the West. Volume I Devon
verb (ˌəʊvəˈleɪ) -lays, -laying or -laid (tr)
verb -lies, -lying, -lay or -lain (tr)
"to cover the surface of (something)," c.1300, in part from Old English oferlecgan "to place over," also "to overburden," and in part from over- + lay (v.). There also was an overlie in Middle English, but it merged into this word. Similar compounds are found in other Germanic languages, e.g. Gothic ufarlagjan. Related: Overlaid; overlaying.
in the printing sense, 1824, from overlay (v.). Meaning "transparent sheet over a map, chart, etc." is from 1938. In earliest noun use it meant "a necktie" (1725).