or re·lay


verb (used with object), re-laid, re-lay·ing.

to lay again.

Nearby words

  1. re-hear,
  2. re-ignite,
  3. re-import,
  4. re-inter,
  5. re-laid,
  6. re-lease,
  7. re-mark,
  8. re-offer,
  9. re-pose,
  10. re-present

Origin of re-lay

First recorded in 1580–90; re- + lay1

Can be confusedre-lay relay


[noun ree-ley; verb ree-ley, ri-ley]


a series of persons relieving one another or taking turns; shift.
a fresh set of dogs or horses posted in readiness for use in a hunt, on a journey, etc.
  1. relay race.
  2. a length or leg in a relay race.
Machinery. an automatic control device in which the settings of valves, switches, etc., are regulated by a powered element, as a motor, solenoid, or pneumatic mechanism actuated by a smaller, sensitive element.
Electricity. a device, usually consisting of an electromagnet and an armature, by which a change of current or voltage in one circuit is used to make or break a connection in another circuit or to affect the operation of other devices in the same or another circuit.
(initial capital letter) U.S. Aerospace. one of an early series of experimental low-altitude, active communications satellites.

verb (used with object), re·layed, re·lay·ing.

to carry forward by or as if by relays: to relay a message.
to provide with or replace by fresh relays.
Electricity. to retransmit (a signal, message, etc.) by or as if by means of a telegraphic relay.

verb (used without object), re·layed, re·lay·ing.

Electricity. to retransmit a signal or message electronically.

Origin of relay

1375–1425; (v.) late Middle English relaien to unleash fresh hounds in a hunt < Middle French relaier, Old French: to leave behind, release, equivalent to re- re- + laier to leave, dialectal variant of laissier < Latin laxāre (see relax); (noun) late Middle English relai set of fresh hounds < Middle French, derivative of relaier



verb (used with object), re·laid, re·lay·ing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for relaying

British Dictionary definitions for relaying


noun (ˈriːleɪ)

a person or team of people relieving others, as on a shift
a fresh team of horses, dogs, etc, posted at intervals along a route to relieve others
the act of relaying or process of being relayed
  1. short for relay race
  2. one of the sections of a relay race
an automatic device that controls the setting of a valve, switch, etc, by means of an electric motor, solenoid, or pneumatic mechanism
electronics an electrical device in which a small change in current or voltage controls the switching on or off of circuits or other devices
  1. a combination of a receiver and transmitter designed to receive radio signals and retransmit them, in order to extend their range
  2. (as modifier)a relay station

verb (rɪˈleɪ) (tr)

to carry or spread (something, such as news or information) by relays
to supply or replace with relays
to retransmit (a signal) by means of a relay
British to broadcast (a performance) by sending out signals through a transmitting stationthis concert is being relayed from the Albert Hall

Word Origin for relay

C15 relaien, from Old French relaier to leave behind, from re- + laier to leave, ultimately from Latin laxāre to loosen; see relax

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 relaying
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for relaying



An electrical switch that is operated by an electromagnet, such as a solenoid. When a small current passes through the electromagnet's coiled wire, it produces a magnetic field that attracts a movable iron bar, causing it to pivot and open or close the switch.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.