Definition of layer in English:


Line breaks: layer
Pronunciation: /ˈleɪə


1A sheet, quantity, or thickness of material, typically one of several, covering a surface or body: arrange a layer of aubergines in a dish
More example sentences
  • Like your eyelashes, so blond they were only noticeable when you blinked and the top row met the bottom in a layer of double thickness.
  • Depending on various factors, you might need to place a layer of base material on top of the subgrade.
  • Once the desired quantity of trees had been installed, a layer of geotextile material was deposited on top to keep contaminants out of the stream.
1.1A level of seniority in the hierarchy of an organization: a managerial layer
More example sentences
  • Many of these efforts focused on flattening the hierarchical structure or reducing the number of layers in the organization.
  • Keep the number of reporting layers within your organization to a minimum.
  • Now as boss, he invites discussion and says he is always trying to remove layers of hierarchy.
2 [in combination] A person or thing that lays something: the majority of fish are egg-layers
More example sentences
  • The actor is a former asphalt layer who is renowned in television circles for his singing voice.
3A shoot fastened down to take root while attached to the parent plant: they can be increased from cuttings and layers


[with object] (often as adjective layered) Back to top  
1Arrange in a layer or layers: the current trend for layered clothes
More example sentences
  • Check out the way I've layered the clothes on Dougie.
  • Pastilla is a layered pastry dish combining almonds and shredded meat.
  • Although I had allowed myself on more than one occasion to daydream and imagined myself in the lovely silk layered clothes of a lady.
1.1Cut (hair) in overlapping layers: her layered, shoulder-length hair
More example sentences
  • Ashlee's hair is layered to just below her shoulders.
  • Find and inspect some pictures of people with curly, layered hair.
  • Her hair was perfectly layered and moved beautifully around her throughout the episode!
2Propagate (a plant) as a layer: a layered shoot
More example sentences
  • Rather than buying more plants, Eva propagates her own by layering.
  • To propagate, follow the same procedure as with red currants - take cuttings in late fall or early spring, or propagate by layering.
  • It is also propagated by layering, divisions and by seed which it sets in profusion.


Middle English (denoting a mason): from lay1 + -er1. The sense 'stratum of material covering a surface' (early 17th century) may represent a respelling of an obsolete agricultural use of lair1 denoting quality of soil.

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walk or travel at a leisurely pace