verb (past and past participle laid /leɪd/)
- Chuckling, I scooped them up in the palm of my hand and laid them gently on top of a soft pile of Green Stamps and bore them so to London town.
- He scoops up a selection of the sliced eggplant and limps over to the grill on his stovetop, where he carefully lays them to cook alongside the red and yellow peppers.
- Colt lays his hand gently on her shoulder in solidarity.
- There was a thunder storm here this morning, and I was hoping that the rain might lay the pollen and dust a bit.
- The rain the day before cooled the air and laid the dust.
- The light rain has laid the dust and little is lifted by your wheels as you drive.
- My flat is progressing too, with the bulk of the decorating work likely to be finished this week, and new (cheap and cheerful) carpet to be laid on Wednesday.
- The Red Carpet was especially laid for the guests who really enjoyed their stay there.
- In addition the ventilation system is being improved, seats have been re-covered and new carpets are being laid.
- No expense had been spared in the ballroom itself, where the tables had been laid for a lavish banquet.
- The Green Room features a table laid ready for a meal.
- I remember looking into one and seeing a little dining table laid out with tiny silver cutlery.
- As well as the existing handrails, the slopes are also being laid with a non-slip surface.
- In recent years, the surface has been laid with sand and loam.
- Modern display units feature large sliding trays laid with tiles, enabling customers to envisage a whole floor.
- Every one of the 400 bedrooms had a coal fire, laid by the staff each day.
- The girl closed the door, lit lamps and a fire that was already laid, then shuttered the only window of the one room cottage, as if wanting privacy.
- A fire has been laid for us in the parlour and I am certain we have much to discuss.
- She had some sort of trap laid and she was preparing to spring it on him.
- By now, the immediate surroundings were quiet, most of the troops had mustered at the south side of camp in preparation to spring the trap that had been laid.
- He laid a ‘glue trap’ by the hole at the back of my kitchen cupboard.
- French security sources said that advanced plans had been laid to use a stolen truck or a helicopter loaded with explosives.
- Plans had also been laid to raise more then £1 million locally.
- Plans are being laid to turn the clock back 60 years across large swathes of the resort for three days in early September.
- We are instructed by the above-named prosecutor, and wish to lay the following information before the court.
- But several requests to lay proposals before the bank met with no serious response except that the bank should simply lend more money.
- He lays the evidence before us, without comment, so that we may draw our own conclusions.
- Something funny is going on here… I'd lay all my money on a bet that it was the Emperor who sent that spell to kill me.
- But despite taking $25,000 bets before, she will be content with laying a more modest wager.
- Yet not all the blame can be laid at the feet of the activists, because it was the very nature of the government's debate process that encouraged them to act as they did.
- Much blame can be laid on the corrupt and profit-ravenous food industry that shovels false information and dreadful products down our throats all day long.
- The blame here cannot be laid on some interagency squabble between, say, the State Department and the Pentagon.
- The female wasp lays her eggs inside the developing medfly egg.
- A female butterfly lays an egg that looks like a miniature pearl, or a squashed golf ball, or a whiskey barrel.
- Female flies lay eggs every two or three days, 300 eggs each time, which means the number of flies will rocket if not controlled.
- I had just arrived in the park to do some hedge laying.
- He was particularly skilled at draining with hand tools and either laying or cutting thorn hedges.
- The ancient art of hedge laying is alive and well thanks to a lone Preston craftsman, plying his trade around the area's villages.
nounBack to top
- Not doing more than getting the lay of the land, but they were there.
- As they say, there is safety in numbers, so if you're in an unfamiliar place, stay with a group, at least until you know the lay of the land.
- Let's take a look at some satellite imagery, give you a sense of the lay of the land of where those pictures are coming from.
- Both male and female breeders are subject to a restricted feeding regime for their first few weeks of life - about 20 days to the point of lay.
Old English lecgan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch leggen and German legen, also to lie1.
The verb lay means, broadly, ‘put something down’, as in they are going to lay the carpet. The past tense and the past participle of this verb is laid, as in they laid the groundwork or she had laid careful plans. The verb lie, on the other hand, means ‘be in a horizontal position to rest’, as in why don’t you lie on the floor? The past tense of this verb is lay ( he lay on the floor) and the past participle is lain ( she had lain on the bed for hours). Thus, in correct use, lay can be either the past tense of lie or the base form of lay. In practice many people make the mistake of using lay, laying, and laid as if they meant lie, lying, lay, and lain. Examples of incorrect use: why don’t you lay on the bed? (correct form is lie); she was laying on the bed (correct form is lying); he had laid on the floor for hours (correct form is lain).
- (Of a hen) laying eggs regularly.More example sentences
- Velogenic viral infection of chickens and turkeys in lay usually reveal egg yolk in the abdominal cavity with flaccid, degenerative follicles.
- When she is in lay, she lays an egg a day - usually in the morning.
- Laying chickens produce 265-280 eggs during the 13-14 months they are in lay.
lay something at someone's door
- see door.
lay something bare
- Bring something out of concealment; expose something: the sad tale of failure was laid bareMore example sentences
- Much of its former usages were laid bare for exhibitions.
- The ‘chilling’ methods used by tobacco companies to market cigarettes were laid bare today as thousands of previously confidential papers were published on the internet.
- It left me exposed, like my heart was laid bare before him.
lay a charge
- Make an accusation: we could lay a charge of gross negligenceMore example sentences
- I didn't think they had sufficient evidence to lay a charge, let alone obtain a conviction and that view hasn't changed after what I've seen today.
- Yet the Children's Bill says ‘a male child that was subjected to circumcision against his will may lay a charge of assault’.
- I told him I wanted to lay a charge of assault, and he told me he had two witnesses who would say I had assaulted him.
lay claim to
- Assert that one has a right to (something): four men laid claim to the leadershipMore example sentences
- Four young sisters have laid claim to being Bolton's most musical family after two of them landed places in national orchestras.
- He bravely handled the pressure, stringing four flawless racks to lay claim to victory and the US $75,000 first-place check.
- Japan has laid claim to all the islands seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II but Russia maintains the issue only involves part of them.
- Assert that one possesses (a skill or quality): she has never laid claim to medical knowledgeMore example sentences
- In seeking to define himself as Australia's next leader, he lays claim to possessing a key quality he reveres.
- Other religious systems may also lay claim to some of these qualities, but not to the totality of these.
- No, he possesses the real genius that only our greatest comedians can lay claim to.
lay down one's arms (or weapons)
- Cease fighting.More example sentences
- Negotiations cannot convince the militia's leaders to lay down their arms.
- More than 600 attended his funeral in Leytonstone to hear family members appeal to local youngsters to lay down their weapons.
- An estimated 4000 people have reportedly laid down their arms.
lay down the law
- see law.
lay down one's life
- Sacrifice one’s life for a cause: the willingness of British troops to lay down their lives for their country is a humbling thoughtMore example sentences
- I do not mean to belittle the heroic deeds achieved by the pioneers, some whom even laid down their lives in fighting crime.
- The scripture in the Bible says no greater love hath no man than a man who lays down his life for his friends.
- Now I find myself mother to five beautiful, intelligent, creative children for whom I would lay down my life in an instant.
lay eyes on
- see eye.
lay a (or the) ghost
- Exorcise a ghost.More example sentences
- Mick said there were stories of various attempts to lay the ghost.
- And perhaps some form of exorcism or " laying the ghost ".
- Finally cease to be troubled by the memory of an unpleasant situation or event: by claiming victory, they laid to rest the ghosts of five previous defeatsMore example sentences
- The army prided itself in re-establishing its deterrence over Hamas, laying the ghosts of Lebanon in 2006.
- Cougars are out for revenge against Sheffield Eagles on Sunday - to lay the ghosts of last year's nightmare defeats.
- Perhaps incorporating the brand in staffing will lay the ghost to rest.
lay hands on (also lay or put one's hands on)
- I would spend as much time as I possibly could tucked away in different corners of the house reading pretty much anything I could lay my hands on on the subject.
- As soon as I could walk I started to draw on anything with everything I could lay my hands on: walls, furniture, nothing was safe for me.
- In short, your business is far from being destroyed if you manage to lay your hands on this membership.
- It is still used in the ceremony of confirmation, where a bishop, priest, or minister lays hands on the confirmand and prays for them to receive the Holy Spirit.
- He asked for prayer and the brother complied, laying hands on him and asking God to anoint him so that he might lay hands on his friend for healing.
- Only two out of the six churches Ive served since 1981 felt the freedom and the need to lay hands on people and pray for healing.
lay hold of (or on)
- Catch or gain possession of: he was afraid she might vanish if he did not lay hold of herMore example sentences
- But lay hold on this inescapable fact - one day, all death will be abolished.
- This is what the author is clearly reaching out for in this section, but does not fully lay hold of.
- ‘In all the districts I visited every opportunity of collecting the folk-lore was laid hold of, and a good deal of it […] was gathered ’.
lay it on the line
- see line1.
lay someone low
- (Of an illness) reduce someone to inactivity: he was laid low by a stomach bugMore example sentences
- Rain, thunder and lightning of epic proportions have not succeeded in cleaning the air and we are laid low with massive headaches, blocked sinuses and pervasive brain fog.
- However, Dove has been laid low by a virus all week and his chances of being involved at the weekend are 50-50.
- I am sure producers and TV executives everywhere were sorry to hear that Jon had been laid low by pneumonia before Christmas and like me wished him a speedy recovery.
- Bring to an end the high position or good fortune formerly enjoyed by someone: she reflected on how quickly fate can lay a person lowMore example sentences
- That's also the premise which lays them low - most people don't have the time to do overly intensive data entry.
- Should he make that connection, he would be perfectly within his rights to lay you low for looking for information that is none of your business.
- He is the archenemy to the Order and has vowed to lay them low one way or another.
lay something on the table
- see table.
lay something on thick (or with a trowel)
- informal Grossly exaggerate or overemphasize something: the message is laid on with a trowel for three hoursMore 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.
lay someone open to
- Expose someone to the risk of (something): his position could lay him open to accusations of favouritismMore example sentences
- The public must realise all surgical procedures carry risks and having plastic surgery lays them open to all of these.
- Privacy campaigners say the system lays you open to permanent surveillance.
- If asked I would certainly refuse to rub down women because it lays you open to allegations of assault.
lay oneself out to do something
- chiefly British Make a special effort to do something: she’s laying herself out to be pleasantMore example sentences
- If you start talking about power, you're really laying yourself out to be challenged on just how powerful you are, so people never do it unless they're pretty sure of their ground.
- Look round the circle in which your lot is cast, and lay yourself out to be useful.
- I had to get work, and I laid myself out to get it.
lay siege to
- see siege.
lay store by
- see store.
lay someone/thing to rest
- Bury a body in a grave: they couldn’t lay him to rest as his body was never discoveredMore example sentences
- Four years after he was laid to rest his grave was re-opened so they could bury another child in with him.
- When Augustus the Strong died his body was laid to rest in the crypt of Krakow cathedral but his heart was buried in Hofkirche.
- As his body was laid to rest, six Royal Marines fired a volley of three shots followed by a rendering of the Last Post by a bugler.
- Soothe and dispel fear, anxiety, etc. suspicion will be laid to rest by fact rather than hearsayMore example sentences
- When he caught sight of who had assaulted him, however, his fears were laid to rest.
- If they opened their minds and hearts they would know how silly that is and their fears could be laid to rest.
- I received a call from the manager at 10: 00 a.m. the next morning saying they had found my credit card and my worst fears were laid to rest.
lay something (to) waste
- see waste.
lay about British
- Beat or attack (someone) violently: they weren’t against laying about you with sticks and stonesMore example sentences
- The guards laid about them, striking men and women with the flats of their swords.
- Dancers, casting aside their cloaks, revealed themselves as lightly armored fighters who drew all manner of weapons and began laying about them with a will.
- They laid about him with the back of their axes and overwhelmed him with stones and (thigh) bones and ox heads.
- (lay about one) Strike out wildly on all sides: the mare laid about her with her front legs and teethMore example sentences
- Behave churlishly and rudely, treating everyone you encounter like some kind of moron and generally laying about you with a riding crop.
- Mary alone attempted to resist by force the intrusion of these soldiers, laying about her with a parasol to fend off the men trying to get through the bedroom door.
- I'm getting on a bit myself but I am quite willing and capable of laying about myself with a stick if need be.
lay something aside
- Put something to one side: he laid aside his book figurative the situation gave them a good reason to lay aside their differencesMore example sentences
abandon, cast aside, reject, renounce, repudiate, dismiss, disregard, ignore, forget, discardarchaic forsakedefer, shelve, hold over, suspend, put on ice, mothball, set aside, put off, put aside, put out of one's mind, wave aside, put back, adjourninformal put on the back burner, put in cold storagerare remit
- If ethnic differences are laid aside, it is likely the issue of religious observance that will keep Afghanistan's rulers busy for some time to come.
- By the time we lay the book aside, we have witnessed an extraordinary reversal.
- After and only after both players have picked, they may take pairs of cards of the same rank from their hands and lay them aside to count toward their score.
- Reserve money for the future or for a particular cause: he begged them to lay something aside towards the causeMore example sentences
- For homeowners it means paying off the mortgage slower, or reducing their ability to lay money aside for retirement.
- Prompt treatment is vital for the well-being of your pets, so ensure you can afford to lay money aside for contingencies such as these.
- She has laid aside a little sum, but her long expensive illness takes her last dollar.
lay something down
- He says the pause will give repentant fighters a chance to lay down their weapons.
- The block was built around the four sides of a concrete courtyard which he had laid down.
- She laid down on the cot, pulling a tattered blanket over herself.
- School rules are not laid down so that teachers can get a kick out of enforcing them.
- The rules are laid down for signing and loaning players and Wanderers work strictly within those rules.
- From the start strict rules were laid down for its romantic novels, toning down passion to avoid offence.
- It's a haven in the wild west of the web; a place where you can lay your money down and be sure that you will get your cash back if the goods do not turn up.
- I've done my bit to help Freddie to make his millions by purchasing his novels as they appeared, so why stop now I said to myself recently as I laid my money down for his latest.
- So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out I'll never forget the look on his face when he said Mama's gonna look so great
- As psychoanalysis has taught us in its methodology of disinterested attention, only after all the tracks have been laid down may one begin to evaluate them.
- The massive naval harbour that bites into Algeciras Bay was a Victorian achievement, that was only properly completed in the 1900's after which the dry docks were laid down.
- Work proceeded forthwith, and the first three of five Holland boats were laid down on February 4, 1901.
- Synorogenic flysch deposits were laid down in front of the advancing allochthonous complexes, and were overridden by them.
- We know that these limestones were laid down in a shallow shelf sea that was periodically exposed as sea levels fell worldwide owing to the build-up of ice in a former glaciation.
- The confusion can be traced to the uniformitarian expectations that the deposits were laid down over eons of time.
- Alternatively, wines can be laid down for just one of these occasions, as required.
- When someone opens a bottle of my wine many years from now they will know that our wines have ageeability and can be laid down (cellared) for decades.
- He believed the white mold actually played an important part of his winemaking process, as it coated nearly everything, from the barrels to the bottles which he laid down there for years.
- How do you feel it's an advantage over laying things down on tape piece by piece?
- It was fact that we went in there and laid it down in six hours that gave the first songs such urgency and energy - just can't be captured again once you lose your innocence!
- But the true power in this album is that she laid the tracks down live and left them that way.
- Build up a stock of something in case of need: the police are expecting riots and preparing by laying in guns and tear gasMore example sentences
stock up with/on, stockpile, store (up), amass, heap up, hoard, save, stow, put aside, garner, accumulate, pile up, mass, assemble, stack up, put away, stow away, husband, reserve, preserve, conserve, collect, muster, put by, put by for a rainy day, squirrel away
- By hard work and thrift he managed to lay up considerable of this world's goods and at the time of his death was in comfortable circumstances.
- During this time his expenses had swallowed up the small amount which he had succeeded in laying up previous to his sickness.
- Unless you have the foresight to lay up stores in advance, production will grind to a halt.
- informal Attack violently with words or blows: three youths laid into himMore example sentences
attack, assail, hit, strike, let fly at, tear into, lash out at, set about, set upon, fall on, turn on, assault, beat, thrash, pound, pummel, wallop, hammer, pounce on, round on, pelt, drubinformal lace into, sail into, pitch into, let someone have it, get stuck into, paste, do over, knock about/around, rough upBritish informal have a go atlambaste, harangue, condemn, pillory, rant at, rave at; berate, upbraid, rebuke, chide, reproach, reprove, scoldinformal pitch into, crucify, rubbish, slag offBritish informal have a go atrare objurgate
- After seeing the error of their comrades, the three armed men advanced more cautiously towards Erik, attempting to surround him first before they laid into their attack.
- He was astounded when the journalist unexpectedly exploded into violence, laying into a passer-by larking about for the camera.
- She laid into the companies that pitched for funds on the programme, saying she had only gone on the show to promote her business.
- informal Give up or stop doing something: I laid off smoking for seven yearsMore example sentences
- In her defense, laying off the booze would mean seeing him sober…
- Now I'm doing an Amber and trying to quit the fags - my immune system is shot and laying off the smokes should help a bit.
- Im also trying to lay off the dairy after a week of upset stomach.
- Discharge a worker temporarily or permanently because of a shortage of work: the company has laid off 30 per cent of its staffMore example sentences
make redundant, dismiss, let go, discharge, give notice to, pay off, releaseinformal sack, give someone the sack, fire, give someone their cards, give someone their marching orders, send packing, give someone the boot, give someone the bullet, give someone the push, give someone the (old) heave-ho, boot out
- This isn't the first time (and unlikely to be the last), but a group of striking workers in Korea have been laid off by text message by their employer.
- Nonetheless, her co-workers at the hotel told her that the next day two new workers were hired to do the same job she had been laid off from.
- His wife, a former textile worker, took care of him and his son when he was laid off from his factory.
lay something off
- No forward likes to have someone on top of them, they just end up laying the ball off with passes.
- He lays the ball off to Heskey, who drives a useless cross against the legs of the nearest Swedish defender.
- They passed to each other, they ran past each other, they laid the ball off to each other.
- When you get good at this, you can quickly reverse each consecutive pass to lay the paint off in one direction.
- When it comes to laying the paint off to ensure no brush marks are left behind I always use the following analogy when training people to paint
- After applying by roller, laying off the paint with a brush or pad will give you an improved finish.
- Any sensible fella would have laid the bet off by now, guaranteeing him a fair wedge.
- Even then you had to wait whilst he phoned and laid the bet off before they accepted it.
- This scenario will happen to you and the trick is to accept it, lay the bet off and accept a small loss and then move onto your next trade.
lay something on
- Replacement bus services were laid on for rail passengers unable to travel over the weekend.
- Alternate bus routes have been laid on until normal service is resumed.
- Tickets will be on sale during the week and a bus service will be laid on from the village to the hall and home again that night.
- And that's one thing - when the administration tries to lay this responsibility on the military to make the decision - that's not who makes the decision to go to war.
- He says it is not fair to lay the entire responsibility on the group, since others may have been involved.
- She explains that American women are fortunate because our culture values the family and lays responsibilities on men so women can safely have children.
lay someone out
- It was later confirmed that Kennedy was laid out in the East Room prior to his burial in Arlington.
- The design comes into its own in the final scene, when Lear and Cordelia are laid out together, finally united in death.
- The walls of his log cabin-style burial chamber were draped in fabric, and he was laid out on a decorated bronze couch covered with furs and other material.
- If your brother knew what we did he'd lay me out with one punch.
- The Major was laid out on the floor and a man in a white coat immediately bent over her.
lay something out
- If you were to uncoil a French horn and lay it out to its full length, it would be over six miles long.
- Carefully holding them he made his way back to the couch and laid the contents out on the coffee table.
- ‘Thank you so, so much,’ I whispered, laying the dress out on the gown and hugging my aunt tightly.
- The area where the houses and gardens would be laid out would be raised by about 2ft to counter the risk of flooding and changes to the drainage at the edge of the reserve.
- These gardens were laid out in 1550 for the Medici a year after they bought the Palazzo Pitti and were opened to the public in 1766.
- The gardens had been laid out quite formally, but there are signs of obvious neglect.
- The final feed would end up in the production department, where the text would be laid out and made ready for actual printing.
- What I liked was that the material is laid out in a reasonable fashion.
- The lines are laid out as prose, although there are a few attempts at verse format on the early pages, and sentences run on without a break.
- You have to lay it out for her, explain that her behaviour will end your relationship.
- I liked the fact that he laid it out very clearly that we're going to be OK, but we're going to go after these guys.
- Any scientific theory has an exemplary case where the basic ideas and methodologies are laid out clearly and convincingly.
- Similarly in Sligo we will never know how much money is laid out, and at the end of the day it is the ordinary ‘Joe Soap’ that goes around begging to raise money for the County Board.
- If the latter, then we have to wonder if consumers will be willing to lay out good money to see something they've already bought fixed properly.
- But when we come in, the cheaper it is, the better for us, because we know we're not going to have to lay out so much money.
- US Break one’s journey: Steven and I will lay over in New York, then fly to LondonMore example sentences
- August 1-2: The party runs a short distance on the river and then lays over for a day to rest and explore.
- This is a short video showing passengers boarding a low floor trolleybus while it lays over at its city centre terminus in Basle, Switzerland.
- On the return portion of my Turkey trip I will be laid over in Istanbul until the next morning.
- Golf Hit the ball deliberately to a lesser distance than possible, typically in order to avoid a hazard: the conservative thing to do was lay up and settle for a fiveMore example sentences
- In fact, I laid up on every par 5 but still made a birdie each time.
- I debated with my caddie, Stevie, about laying up.
- I hit my drive in the fairway, laid up with a 7-iron, then hit a wedge to the back fringe.
lay someone up
- Put someone out of action through illness or injury: he was laid up with the fluMore example sentences
- The injury that laid him up for so long, and caused him to wreak revenge was self-inflicted, a result of that desperate lunge.
- My Uncle was laid up with an arthritic problem, but from his couch or hobbling about he would carry on renovation to his house.
- Her many friends are so sorry to hear she is laid up and we all wish her a speedy recovery.
lay something up
- By the time the boat owner contacted the state, his boat had been laid up for three months, waiting for simple repairs to be completed.
- Buying a boat outright in Michigan means that a person bears the full cost of the six months that the boat is laid up for the winter instead of a fraction of the cost under boat sharing.
- Formerly HMS Upholder, she was the first of the four boats launched between 1986 and 1991, but by 1994 they had been laid up, with no role to play as the Cold War was over.
- Simply put, fiberglass materials and core materials are laid up without any resin.
- But the front wing had complex curves that could cause unexpected shifts in plies as they were laid up, resulting in weak spots.
- Board and batten patterns are laid up using standard dimension lumber.
- Modern scholarship has done much to rescue the pastoral reputation and moral seriousness of the clergy and their lay supporters at all levels.
- She was training to be a lay preacher, but knew that wasn't where she wanted to be, and wasn't sure where she was going.
- During this time Bethel has been well supported by ministers from the South Wales area, some of them retired, and by lay preachers from the locality.
- Often faculty are not clinicians but other health professionals and lay community members.
- Newspapers are an important source of information about the results of medical research, both for lay people and health professionals.
- Like lay rules, most professional rules are tacit and informal and are never formally articulated.
Middle English: from Old French lai, via late Latin from Greek laïkos, from laos 'people'. Compare with laic.
- James Macpherson based his Ossianic pieces on these lays.
- We come to the lay's treatment of the third type: the woman, as represented by the wife.
- In no other of Marie's lays is the roster of personages so heavily weighted toward a single gender.
Middle English: from Old French lai, corresponding to Provençal lais, of unknown origin.