• synonyms


  1. not laid or placed: The table is still unlaid.
  2. (of dead bodies) not laid out; not prepared for burial.
  3. not laid to rest, as a spirit.
  4. untwisted, as a rope.
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Origin of unlaid

First recorded in 1425–75, unlaid is from the late Middle English word unleyd. See un-1, laid


verb (used with object), un·laid, un·lay·ing.
  1. to separate (a strand) from a rope.
  2. to untwist (a rope) in order to separate its strands.
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Origin of unlay

First recorded in 1720–30; un-2 + lay1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unlaid

Historical Examples of unlaid

  • But still, above and beneath and through every other odor, the unlaid ghost of Tammas's victim cried for vengeance.

    Dear Enemy

    Jean Webster

  • She roamed about the empty house with her footsteps tracked by an unlaid ghost.

  • Terrors and ghosts of unlaid accountants haunt the houses of their children from generation to generation.

  • With or without a crown, or a double crown, is made by intertwisting the unlaid ends of a rope in a peculiar manner.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • William and Mr Seagrave unlaid some thick rope, that Ready might make smaller and more useful rope with the yarns.

    Masterman Ready

    Captain Frederick Marryat

British Dictionary definitions for unlaid


verb -lays, -laying or -laid
  1. (tr) to untwist (a rope or cable) to separate its strands
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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