[wey-leyd, wey-leyd]


simple past tense and past participle of waylay.


[wey-ley, wey-ley]

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

to intercept or attack from ambush, as in order to rob, seize, or slay.
to await and accost unexpectedly: The actor was waylaid by a swarm of admirers.

Origin of waylay

1505–15; way1 + lay1, after Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen to lie in wait, derivative of wegelage a lying in wait
Related formsway·lay·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for waylaid

Contemporary Examples of waylaid

  • They may have been waylaid by another mystery: What do website-clicking sports fans want?

    The Daily Beast logo
    On the Peninsula

    Bryan Curtis

    April 25, 2011

Historical Examples of waylaid

  • Tom was taking it to a lawyer, when he was waylaid, and chloroformed.

  • The steward dogged my footsteps and waylaid me, and, by Jove!

    Adventures and Recollections

    Bill o'th' Hoylus End

  • It was greatly feared that they had been waylaid and captured by the savages.

    King Philip

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • The women were really on their way to the Temple when he waylaid them.

    Lotus Buds

    Amy Carmichael

  • He waylaid the doctor after the examination was over and asked all kinds of questions.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for waylaid


verb -lays, -laying or -laid (tr)

to lie in wait for and attack
to await and intercept unexpectedly
Derived Formswaylayer, noun

Word Origin for waylay

C16: from way + lay 1
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 waylaid



"to ambush," 1510s, from way + lay (v.), on model of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen "besetting of ways, lying in wait with evil or hostile intent along public ways."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper