There are 4 main translations of lay in Spanish:

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lay 1

American English: /leɪ/
British English: /leɪ/

transitive verb past tense & past participle laid

  • 1 (put, place) he laid his head on the pillow
    puso la cabeza en la almohada
    lay him on his back
    ponlo or tiéndelo boca arriba
    lay the cloth flat on the table
    extiende la tela sobre la mesa
    he laid a blanket over the sleeping child
    cubrió al niño dormido con una manta
    Example sentences
    • 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.
  • 2 (arrange, put down in position)
    they laid the floor with tiles/carpet
    embaldosaron/alfombraron or (Spain) enmoquetaron el suelo
    the gardens are laid to grass (British English)
    los jardines están cubiertos de césped
    Example sentences
    • 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.
    Example sentences
    • 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.
  • 3 (prepare)
    to lay the table for dinner
    poner la mesa para la cena
    Example sentences
    • 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.
    Example sentences
    • 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.
  • 4 (present, put forward) See examples: to lay a complaint against somebody
    formular or presentar una queja contra alguien
    to lay a case before somebody
    exponer un caso ante alguien
    charge 1 1 1
  • 5 (cause to settle) See examples: to lay a rumor (to rest)
    acallar un rumor
  • 6 (cause to be) See examples: one blow laid him flat on his back
    de un golpe quedó tendido de espaldas en el suelo
    the blow laid his head open
    el golpe le partió la cabeza
    her statements laid her open to criticism
    sus declaraciones la dejaron expuesta a críticas
    it laid her under an obligation
    la puso en un compromiso
    to lay somebody lowthe punch laid him low
    el golpe lo dejó fuera de combate or lo tumbó
    he was laid low by the flu
    estuvo postrado con la gripe or (Colombia) (Mexico) con la gripa
  • 7 (Zoology)to lay eggs (bird/reptile)
    poner huevos
  • 8
    I'll lay you $10 on it
    te apuesto 10 dólares (a) que es así
    I'll lay (that) he doesn't come back [archaic or dialect]
    te apuesto (a) que no vuelve
    odds 1
    Example sentences
    • The money was duly laid down, so Lucas whipped off his kit and plunged in.
    • 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.
  • 9 (locate) [formal] (usually passive)

intransitive verb past tense & past participle laid

  • 1
    poner huevos
    Example sentences
    • 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.


  • [slang]he's/she's a good lay
    es muy bueno/buena en la cama [colloquial]

Phrasal verbs

lay about

verb + preposition + object
to lay about somebody
emprenderla a golpes con alguien
he laid about him with his fists
empezó a dar puñetazos a diestra y siniestra or (Spain) a diestro y siniestro

lay aside

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1.1 (put down)
dejar a un lado
1.2 (give up)
dejar de lado
1.3 (save) they had some money laid aside
tenían un dinero ahorrado

lay by

lay aside 3

lay down

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1.1 (put down)
librarse or desembarazarse de
she laid herself down on the sand
se tumbó en la arena
1.2 (prescribe, fix)
their religion lays down a strict code of conduct
su religión impone un estricto código de conducta
it is laid down in the constitution/rulebook that …
la constitución/el reglamento establece que …
law 1 2
guardar en la bodega
1.4 (keel) (Nautical)
empezar a construir

lay for

verb + preposition + object (American English)
[slang]the boss has been laying for me for months
hace meses que el jefe la tiene tomada conmigo [colloquial]

lay in

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
aprovisionarse de
proveerse de
(para guardar)
we've laid in supplies for a month
tenemos provisiones para un mes

lay into

verb + preposition + object [colloquial]
1.1 (attack)
emprenderla a golpes con
arremeter contra
arremeter contra
they laid into their food with gusto
empezaron a comer con ganas
atacaron or (in Mexico also) le entraron con ganas [colloquial]
1.2 (scold) she really laid into me
se ensañó conmigo

lay off

1verb + adverb + object, verb + object + adverb
(American English)
(British English) (suspender temporalmente por falta de trabajo)
2verb + adverb, verb + preposition + object [colloquial] 2.1 (stop pestering) See examples: just lay off, will you?
¡basta ya!
¡terminala de una vez! (River Plate area) [colloquial]
lay off me/her!
¡déjame/déjala en paz!
2.2 (give up) you should lay off gambling/the drink
deberías dejar el juego/la bebida
2.3 (avoid) See examples: lay off politics with him
con él no toques el tema de la política

lay on

1verb + adverb + object, verb + object + adverb 1.1 (arrange, provide)
hacerse cargo de
food and drink was laid on by the company
la compañía se hizo cargo de la comida y la bebida
(water/gas/electricity) (British English)
1.3 (apply)
(coat of paint)
to lay it on thick the special effects were laid on with a trowel
se les fue la mano or [colloquial] [irónico] se pasaron un pelo con los efectos especiales
2verb + object + preposition + object 2.1 (impose)
to lay the blame on somebody
echarle la culpa a alguien
culpar a alguien
see alsostress 1 2 1, → emphasis 2
2.2 (give, burden with) (American English) [colloquial]I've got a sermon to lay on both of them
esos dos me van a oír [colloquial]
I'm sorry to have to lay all this on you
siento tener que preocuparte con todo esto

lay out

verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object
1 1.1
hacer el trazado de
1.2 (Printing)
hacer la maquetación de
2 (spend)
3 (knock unconscious)
dejar sin sentido
(in boxing)
dejar KO or fuera de combate
4 4.1
(dead body)

lay over

verb + adverb (American English)
(for one night)
we laid over a couple of days in Paris
nos quedamos un par de días en París

lay to

verb + adverb
ponerse al pairo or a la capa

lay up

1verb + object + adverb, verb + adverb + object (render inactive) (often passive)
(boat/car) (por una temporada)
I was laid up with flu for two weeks
la gripe or (Colombia) (Mexico) la gripa me tuvo dos semanas en cama or fuera de circulación
2verb + adverb + object (store up)
to lay up trouble for oneself
buscarse or crearse problemas

Definition of lay in:

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There are 4 main translations of lay in Spanish:

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lay 2
American English: /leɪ/
British English: /leɪ/

adjective (before noun)

  • 1 (Religion) (secular)
    Example sentences
    • 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.
  • 2 (not expert) See examples:the lay reader
    el lector lego or profano en la materia
    el lector no especializado

Definition of lay in:

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There are 4 main translations of lay in Spanish:

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lay 3
American English: /leɪ/
British English: /leɪ/


  • 1 (poem)
    lay (masculine) [arcaico]
    Example sentences
    • 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.

Definition of lay in:

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There are 4 main translations of lay in Spanish:

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lay 4
American English: /leɪ/
British English: /leɪ/

Definition of lay in:

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    Pronunciation: ɪɡˈzɛmpləm
    an example or model...
    Cultural fact of the day


    In some parts of Spain, the name given to a weekly open-air flea market where all kinds of items are sold is a rastro. The name El Rastro as such refers to a very big market of this type held in Madrid at weekends.