There are 2 definitions of overlay in English:


Line breaks: over|lay


Pronunciation: /əʊvəˈleɪ
(past and past participle overlaid) [with object] (often be overlaid with)
1Cover the surface of (something) with a coating: their fingernails were overlaid with silver or gold
More example sentences
  • In several examples, the base metal is overlaid with silver, and many of the inlays are gold or silver.
  • The unidentified base metals are overlaid with silver.
  • In the rest of the house all parts were overlaid with gold and adorned with gems and mother-of-pearl.
cover, face, surface, veneer, inlay, laminate; carpet, blanket, swathe, cloak, veil, shroud; overspread, encrust, smear, daub, bedaub, coat, plaster, plate, varnish, glaze, wash, suffuse
1.1Lie on top of: a third screen which will overlay the others
More example sentences
  • The results are displayed on a screen and often overlaid on a map.
  • These images were digitized and overlaid on a computer screen.
  • She seems to be having some kind of a disco thing going on, with her screen overlaid three times on top of itself and a hundred horizontal bars racing up and down the picture.
2(Of a quality or feeling) become more prominent than (a previous quality or feeling): his openness had been overlaid by his new self-confidence
More example sentences
  • Any of us can become terrified at any moment if fear overlays us.
  • Football retained tenacious local loyalties, overlaid by denominational and social rivalries, mediated by the search for success and corresponding reward.
  • Consequently, the difficult circumstances of their current situation are at least partially overlaid by a larger faith in the dignity of labor, the power of collective action, and the ultimate triumph of the working class.


Pronunciation: /ˈəʊvəleɪ
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1Something laid as a covering over something else: a durable, cost-effective floor overlay
More example sentences
  • Films, coatings, and overlays generally become less cost effective as production quantities increase, especially when the entire surface of work pieces must be hardened.
  • Watch how the pros produce stunning decorative overlays from start to finish, including surface preparation, pre-overlay repair, placing, and finishing.
  • The company's warehouse floor serves as a testing ground for new finishes, overlays, and polishing techniques.
covering, layer, face, surface, veneer, lamination, encrustation, carpet, blanket, sheet, curtain, canopy, cover, cloak, veil, pall, shroud, screen, mask, cloud, envelope; coat, smear, daub, plating, varnish, glaze, wash
1.1A transparent sheet placed over artwork or something such as a map, giving additional information or detail: full-colour aerial photographs with overlays showing suggested routes
More example sentences
  • The structure of the painting reveals itself as do those anatomical diagrams with transparent overlays illustrating the separate skeletal, circulatory, pulmonary and muscular systems.
  • Analysts may create additional overlays as needed.
  • Circle the corresponding number on the reader service card for more information about stampable vertical overlays.
2 [mass noun] Computing The process of transferring a block of program code or other data into internal memory, replacing what is already stored.
More example sentences
  • New code was added to Maya to remove the requirement for hardware overlay in order to provide compatibility even with nonaccelerated drivers.
2.1 [count noun] A block of code or other data transferred during the overlay process.
More example sentences
  • In addition, MCS-L does not allow users to relate or join external user-defined databases to overlays.

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