informal Grossly exaggerate or overemphasize something.
- 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.
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