lay

lay1 W2S1 [leı] v
the past tense of ↑lie 1
lay 2
lay2 v past tense and past participle laid [leıd]
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
1¦(put somebody/something down)¦
2 lay bricks/carpet/concrete/cables etc
3¦(bird/insect etc)¦
4¦(table)¦
5 lay the foundations/groundwork/base
6¦(give information)¦
7 lay emphasis/stress on something
8 lay a hand/finger on somebody
9 lay bare/open something
10 lay somebody/something open to something
11 lay waste something
12 lay plans/a trap etc
13 lay claim to (doing) something
14 lay siege to somebody/something
15¦(have sex)¦
16¦(lie)¦
17¦(risk money)¦
18 lay somebody/something on the line
19 lay something at the door of somebody/something
20 lay somebody low
21 lay somebody to rest
22 lay the ghost (of something)
Phrasal verbs
 lay about somebody
 lay something<=>aside
 lay something<=>down
 lay something<=>in
 lay into somebody/something
 lay off
 lay something on
 lay somebody/something<=>out
 lay over
 lay up
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1.) ¦(PUT SOMEBODY/SOMETHING DOWN)¦ [T always + adverb/preposition]
to put someone or something down carefully into a flat position
= ↑place
He laid his hand on my shoulder.
They laid a wreath at the place where so many people died.
Lay the material flat on the table.
2.) lay bricks/carpet/concrete/cables etc
to put or fasten bricks, a ↑carpet etc in the correct place, especially on the ground or floor
The carpet was laid last week.
The project involved laying an oil pipeline across the desert.
3.) ¦(BIRD/INSECT ETC)¦ [I and T]
if a bird, insect etc lays eggs, it produces them from its body
The flies lay their eggs on decaying meat.
A cuckoo is able to lay in a range of different nests.
4.) ¦(TABLE)¦ [T]
BrE to put the cloth, plates, knives, forks etc on a table, ready for a meal
= ↑set
John was laying the table .
As she spoke, she was laying him a place at the table.
5.) lay the foundations/groundwork/base
to provide the conditions that will make it possible for something to happen or be successful
lay the foundations/groundwork/base for
Mandela helped lay the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.
It was an invention which laid the foundations of modern radio technology.
6.) ¦(GIVE INFORMATION)¦ [T] formal
to make a statement, give information etc in an official or public way
= ↑put
Several proposals have been laid before the committee.
7.) lay emphasis/stress on sth
formal to emphasize something because you believe it is very important
a political philosophy that lays great stress on individual responsibility
8.) lay a hand/finger on sb [usually in negatives]
to touch someone with the intention of hurting them
I swear I didn't lay a finger on him.
If you lay one hand on me, I'll scream.
9.) lay bare/open sth also lay sth bare/open
a) to show what something is really like, or stop hiding facts, feelings etc
Every aspect of their private life has been laid bare.
b) to remove the thing that is covering or hiding something else
When the tide goes out, vast stretches of sand are laid bare.
10.) lay sb/sth open to sth
to do something that makes it possible for other people to blame you, criticize you etc
lay yourself open to sth
By doing that, he laid himself open to ridicule.
Not to have taken action would have laid the department open to charges of negligence.
11.) lay waste sth also lay waste to sth
formal to destroy or damage something, especially in a war
The island was laid waste and abandoned.
an attack which laid waste to hundreds of villages
12.) lay plans/a trap etc
to carefully prepare all the details of something
We are laying plans now in order to be successful in the future.
the best-laid plans
(=plans that have been made carefully)
Bad weather can upset even the best-laid travel plans.
13.) lay claim to (doing) sth
to say that something belongs to you or say that you deserve something
The town can lay claim to having the oldest theatre in Britain.
No one has laid claim to the property.
14.) lay siege to sb/sth
a) if a group of people lay siege to a place, they try to get control by surrounding it
The armies laid siege to Vienna in 1529.
b) to do everything you can to get someone to talk to you or notice you
A group of young men were always at the stage door, trying to lay siege to the girls.
15.) ¦(HAVE SEX)¦
get laid [T] informal
to have sex with someone
All he wants to do is go out and get laid .
16.) ¦(LIE)¦
[i]spoken to be in a position in which you are flat - some people consider this use to be incorrect
= ↑lie
17.) ¦(RISK MONEY)¦ [T]
especially BrE to risk an amount of money on the result of a race, sports game etc
= ↑bet lay sth on sth
She laid £50 on the favourite, Golden Boy.
lay money (that)
I'd lay money that he will go on to play for England.
18.) lay sb/sth on the line
a) to state something, especially a threat, demand, or criticism, in a very clear way
Lay it on the line and tell them what's really been happening.
b) also put sb/sth on the line
to risk losing your life, your job etc, especially in order to help someone
I've laid myself on the line for him once already.
19.) lay sth at the door of sb/sth also lay sth at sb's door
to blame something or someone for something
The continued divisions within the party cannot be laid entirely at his door.
Many illnesses are being laid at the door of stress.
20.) lay sb low
a) [usually passive]
if an illness lays someone low, they are unable to do their normal activities for a period of time
lay somebody low with
She's been laid low with flu for a week.
b) literary to make someone fall down, or injure them seriously
21.) lay sb to rest
formal to bury someone after they have died
She was laid to rest beside her husband.
lay/put sth to rest atrest1 (10)
22.) lay the ghost (of sth)
to finally stop being worried or upset by something from the past
lay your hands on sth athand1 (18)
lay the blame on sb/sth atblame2
put/lay your cards on the table atcard1 (13)
lay about [lay about sb] phr v
to attack someone violently
= ↑set about lay about somebody with
He laid about his attackers with a stick.
lay aside [lay sth<=>aside] phr v
1.) to stop using something and put it down, especially so you can do something else
= ↑put aside
Richard had laid aside his book to watch what was happening.
2.) to stop behaving in a particular way, or stop having particular feelings, especially so you can achieve something
= ↑put aside
On the day of the wedding, all arguments between the families were laid aside.
As a doctor, you often need to lay aside your personal feelings.
3.) also lay sth<=>by
to keep something, especially money, so you can use it in the future
= ↑put by
She'd laid aside a few pounds each week from her wages.
lay down [lay sth<=>down] phr v
1.) ¦(OFFICIALLY STATE)¦
to officially state something or say that rules, principles etc must be obeyed
He had already clearly laid down his view in his opening speech.
lay down that
The contract laid down that the work must be completed before 2025.
2.) ¦(WEAPONS)¦
if people lay down their weapons, they stop fighting
The terrorists were urged to lay down their arms .
3.) lay down the law
to tell other people what to do, how they should think etc, in a very strong or impolite way
I could hear him laying down the law.
4.) lay down your life
formal to die in order to help other people
lay down your life for
He was even prepared to lay down his life for his friends.
5.) ¦(KEEP)¦
to store something, especially wine, to use in the future
lay in [lay sth<=>in] phr v
to get and store a supply of something to use in the future
He likes to lay in a few special drinks for the festive season.
lay into / [lay into sb/sth] phr v
to attack or criticize someone or something
Outside the club, two men were laying into each other.
lay off phr v
1.) lay sb<=>off
to stop employing someone because there is no work for them to do
→↑layoff
The company laid off 250 workers in December.
Millions of people have been laid off in the steel industry.
2.) lay off (sth) informal to stop using or doing something
I think you'd better lay off alcohol for a while.
lay off doing sth
I had to lay off running for several months.
3.) lay off (sb) informal to stop annoying someone or hurting them
Just lay off, will you!
I wish he'd lay off me!
4.) lay sth<=>off
to pass the ball to someone in your team in a game such as football - used in sports reports
lay sth off to sb
Murphy has the ball and then lays it off to Owen.
lay on [lay sth on] phr v
1.) lay sth<=>on
especially BrE to provide something such as food, entertainment, or transport for a group of people
They laid on a buffet for his farewell party.
A bus has been laid on to take you home.
2.) lay sth on sb
to ask someone to do something, especially something that is difficult or something they will not want to do
Sorry to lay this on you, but we need someone to give a talk at the conference next week.
3.) lay it on (thick) informal
a) to praise someone or something too much, especially in order to get what you want
b) to talk about something in a way that makes it seem more important, serious etc than it really is
lay out [lay sb/sth<=>out] phr v
1.) ¦(SPREAD)¦
to spread something out
Lay out the map on the table and let's have a look.
2.) ¦(ARRANGE)¦
to arrange or plan a building, town, garden etc
= ↑set out
The garden is laid out in a formal pattern.
3.) ¦(EXPLAIN)¦
to describe or explain something clearly
= ↑set out
The financial considerations are laid out in a booklet called 'How to Borrow Money'.
4.) ¦(SPEND)¦ informal
to spend money, especially a lot of money
→↑outlay lay out sth on sth
What's the point in laying out money on something you'll only wear once?
5.) ¦(HIT)¦ informal
to hit someone so hard that they fall down and become unconscious
One of the guards had been laid out and the other was missing.
6.) ¦(BODY)¦
to prepare a dead body so that it can be buried
lay over phr v
to stay somewhere for a short time before continuing your trip
→↑layover
lay up phr v
1.) be laid up (with sth)
to have to stay in bed because you are ill or injured
I was laid up for a week with flu.
2.) to stop using a boat or vehicle, especially while it is being repaired
lay sth<=>up
Most of the yachts were laid up for the winter.
3.) lay sth<=>up
old-fashioned to collect and store something to use in the future
We started laying up firewood for the winter.
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WORD CHOICE:lay, lie
The verb lay must have an object. It is a slightly literary way to say 'put something somewhere' : She lays a silk cloth over the table .
The verb lie does not have an object. It means 'be or get into a horizontal position somewhere' : Let's lie on the grass. | Lie down here for a while.
!! lay is also the past tense of lie : I lay on the couch and tried to relax. The past tense of lay is laid : He laid his hand on my shoulder.
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
lay 3
lay3 adj [only before noun]
[Date: 1300-1400; : Old French; Origin: lai, from Late Latin laicus, from Greek laikos 'of the people', from laos 'people']
a) not trained or not knowing much about a particular profession or subject
→↑layman
lay witnesses
b) not in an official position in the church
a lay preacher
lay 4
lay4 n
[Sense: 1-3; Date: 1800-1900; Origin: LAY1]
[Sense: 4; Date: 1200-1300; : Old French; Origin: lai]
1.) the lay of the land
a) the situation that exists at a particular time
Get the lay of the land before you make any decisions.
b) the appearance of an area of land, for example the way it slopes
2.) the lay of sth
the appearance of something and where each part of it is
Mr. Lowe will give you the lay of the camp and tell you what we're going to be doing.
3.) be a good/quick/easy etc lay informal
to be a good, quick etc person to have sex with
4.) literary a poem or song

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

Synonyms:

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