- to separate (a strand) from a rope.
- to untwist (a rope) in order to separate its strands.
Origin of unlay
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unlay
To untwist, to unlay ropes; to teaze, to convert it into oakum.The Sailor's Word-Book
William Henry Smyth
Unlay the strands for a convenient length; then take an end in each hand, place them one within the other, and draw them close.
Unlay the end of a rope for a short distance, and lay the three strands upon the standing part, so as to form an eye.
Take the end of a rope and unlay one strand; place the two remaining strands back alongside of the standing part (Fig. 92).
The ordinary way of pointing a rope is to first whip as described (Fig. 4), and then unlay the end as for the Flemish eye.
- (tr) to untwist (a rope or cable) to separate its strands
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