[ wey-ley, wey-ley ]
See synonyms for: waylaywaylaid on Thesaurus.com

verb (used with object),way·laid [wey-leyd, wey-leyd], /ˈweɪˌleɪd, weɪˈleɪd/, way·lay·ing.
  1. to intercept or attack from ambush, as in order to rob, seize, or slay.

  2. to await and accost unexpectedly: The actor was waylaid by a swarm of admirers.

Origin of waylay

First recorded in 1505–15; way1 + lay1, after Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen “to lie in wait,” derivative of wegelage “a lying in wait”

Other words from waylay

  • waylayer, noun

Words Nearby waylay

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use waylay in a sentence

  • In my time it was kept and patrolled by a one-eyed, uncanny-looking old sweeper who used to waylay me for pennies.

    Polly the Pagan | Isabel Anderson

British Dictionary definitions for waylay


/ (weɪˈleɪ) /

verb-lays, -laying or -laid (tr)
  1. to lie in wait for and attack

  2. to await and intercept unexpectedly

Origin of waylay

C16: from way + lay 1

Derived forms of waylay

  • waylayer, noun

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