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lay something on thick (or with a trowel)

Definition of lay something on thick or with a trowel in English:

informal Grossly exaggerate or overemphasize something.
Example sentences
  • There was some speculation that he might simply be laying the melodrama on thick for the benefit of the crowd, but I don't see it.
  • Before she started publishing her guidebooks, the words in most botanical tomes were laid on with a trowel, leaving no room for illustrations.
  • Occasionally, the tone can be too sentimental and some of the historic background is laid on with a trowel, but these are quibbles.
exaggerate, overdo it, embellish the truth;
flatter, praise, soft-soap, pile it on, sweet-talk
See parent entry: lay
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