(adjective) not of or from a profession; “a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease”
laic, lay, secular
(adjective) characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy; “set his collar in laic rather than clerical position”; “the lay ministry”
(noun) a narrative poem of popular origin
(noun) a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
put, set, place, pose, position, lay
(verb) put into a certain place or abstract location; “Put your things here”; “Set the tray down”; “Set the dogs on the scent of the missing children”; “Place emphasis on a certain point”
lay, put down, repose
(verb) put in a horizontal position; “lay the books on the table”; “lay the patient carefully onto the bed”
(verb) lay eggs; “This hen doesn’t lay”
(verb) prepare or position for action or operation; “lay a fire”; “lay the foundation for a new health care plan”
(verb) impose as a duty, burden, or punishment; “lay a responsibility on someone”
(verb) tell an untruth; pretend with intent to deceive; “Don’t lie to your parents”; “She lied when she told me she was only 29”
(verb) be lying, be prostrate; be in a horizontal position; “The sick man lay in bed all day”; “the books are lying on the shelf”
dwell, consist, lie, lie in
(verb) originate (in); “The problems dwell in the social injustices in this country”
(verb) be located or situated somewhere; occupy a certain position
(verb) have a place in relation to something else; “The fate of Bosnia lies in the hands of the West”; “The responsibility rests with the Allies”
(verb) be and remain in a particular state or condition; “lie dormant”
Source: WordNet® 3.1
A river in western France.
• According to the 2010 United States Census, Lay is the 1,957th most common surname in the United States, belonging to 18,468 individuals. Lay is most common among White (70.98%) and Asian/Pacific Islander (14.41%) individuals.
lay (third-person singular simple present lays, present participle laying, simple past and past participle laid)
(transitive) To place down in a position of rest, or in a horizontal position.
(transitive, archaic) To cause to subside or abate.
Synonyms: becalm, settle down
(transitive) To prepare (a plan, project etc.); to set out, establish (a law, principle).
(transitive) To install certain building materials, laying one thing on top of another.
(transitive) To produce and deposit an egg.
(transitive) To bet (that something is or is not the case).
(transitive) To deposit (a stake) as a wager; to stake; to risk.
(transitive, slang) To have sex with.
Synonyms: lie by, lie with, sleep with, Thesaurus:copulate with
(nautical) To take a position; to come or go.
(legal) To state; to allege.
(military) To point; to aim.
(ropemaking) To put the strands of (a rope, a cable, etc.) in their proper places and twist or unite them.
(printing) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
(printing) To place (new type) properly in the cases.
To apply; to put.
To impose (a burden, punishment, command, tax, etc.).
To impute; to charge; to allege.
Synonyms: ascribe, attribute
To present or offer.
The verb lay is sometimes used interchangeably with the corresponding intransitive verb lie in informal spoken settings. This can lead to nonstandard constructions which are sometimes objected to. This usage is common in speech but rarely found in edited writing or in more formal spoken situations.
lay (countable and uncountable, plural lays)
Arrangement or relationship; layout.
A share of the profits in a business.
A lyrical, narrative poem written in octosyllabic couplets that often deals with tales of adventure and romance.
The direction a rope is twisted.
(colloquial) A casual sexual partner.
(colloquial) An act of sexual intercourse.
(slang, archaic) A plan; a scheme.
(uncountable) the laying of eggs.
(obsolete) A layer.
• (casual sexual partner): see also casual sexual partner.
lay (plural lays)
lay (comparative more lay, superlative most lay)
Not belonging to the clergy, but associated with them.
Non-professional; not being a member of an organized institution.
(obsolete) Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
simple past tense of lie when pertaining to position.
(proscribed) To be in a horizontal position; to lie (from confusion with lie).
lay (plural lays)
A ballad or sung poem; a short poem or narrative, usually intended to be sung.
lay (plural lays)
(obsolete) A meadow; a lea.
lay (plural lays)
(obsolete) A law.
(obsolete) An obligation; a vow.
lay (third-person singular simple present lays, present participle laying, simple past and past participle laid)
(Judaism, transitive) To don or put on (tefillin (phylacteries)).
Definition: of Lie, to recline.
Lay, a. Etym: [F. lai, L. laicus, Gr. Laic.]
1. Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a
lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.
2. Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.[Obs.]
3. Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession;
unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease.
Lay baptism (Eccl.), baptism administered by a lay person. F. G. Lee.
– Lay brother (R. C. Ch.), one received into a convent of monks
under the three vows, but not in holy orders.
– Lay clerk (Eccl.), a layman who leads the responses of the
congregation, etc., in the church service. Hook.
– Lay days (Com.), time allowed in a charter party for taking in
and discharging cargo. McElrath.
– Lay elder. See 2d Elder, 3, note.
Definition: The laity; the common people. [Obs.]
The learned have no more privilege than the lay. B. Jonson.
Definition: A meadow. See Lea. [Obs.] Dryden.
Lay, n. Etym: [OF.lei faith, law, F. loi law. See Legal.]
1. Faith; creed; religious profession. [Obs.]
Of the sect to which that he was born He kept his lay, to which that
he was sworn. Chaucer.
2. A law. [Obs.] "Many goodly lays." Spenser.
3. An obligation; a vow. [Obs.]
They bound themselves by a sacred lay and oath. Holland.
Lay, a. Etym: [OF. lai, lais, prob. of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. laoi,
laoidh, song, poem, OIr.laoidh poem, verse; but cf. also AS. lac
play, sport, G. leich a sort of poem (cf. Lake to sport).
1. A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad. Spenser. Sir W. Scott.
2. A melody; any musical utterance.
The throstle cock made eke his lay. Chaucer.
Lay, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Laid; p. pr. & vb. n. Laying.] Etym: [OE.
leggen, AS. lecgan, causative, fr. licgan to lie; akin to D.leggen,
G. legen, Icel. leggja, Goth. lagjan. See Lie to be prostrate.]
1. To cause to lie down, to be prostrate, or to lie against
something; to put or set down; to deposit; as, to lay a book on the
table; to lay a body in the grave; a shower lays the dust.
A stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den. Dan. vi. 17.
Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid. Milton.
2. To place in position; to establish firmly; to arrange with
regularity; to dispose in ranks or tiers; as, to lay a corner stone;
to lay bricks in a wall; to lay the covers on a table.
3. To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a
snare, an ambush, or a plan.
4. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
5. To cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise,
as an evil spirit.
After a tempest when the winds are laid. Waller.
6. To cause to lie dead or dying.
Brave Cæneus laid Ortygius on the plain, The victor Cæneus was by
Turnus slain. Dryden.
7. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.
I dare lay mine honor He will remain so. Shak.
8. To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.
9. To apply; to put.
She layeth her hands to the spindle. Prov. xxxi. 19.
10. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a
tax; as, to lay a tax on land.
The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Is. Iiii. 6.
11. To impute; to charge; to allege.
God layeth not folly to them. Job xxiv. 12.
Lay the fault on us. Shak.
12. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
13. To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular
county; to lay a scheme before one.
Definition: To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue. Bouvier.
Definition: To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
16. (Rope Making)
Definition: To put the strands of (a rope, a cable, etc.) in their proper
places and twist or unite them; as, to lay a cable or rope.
(a) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
(b) To place (new type) properly in the cases. To lay asleep, to put
sleep; to make unobservant or careless. Bacon.
– To lay bare, to make bare; to strip.
And laid those proud roofs bare to summer's rain. Byron.
– To lay before, to present to; to submit for consideration; as, the
papers are laid before Congress.
– To lay by. (a) To save. (b) To discard.
Let brave spirits . . . not be laid by. Bacon.
– To lay by the heels, to put in the stocks. Shak.
– To lay down. (a) To stake as a wager. (b) To yield; to
relinquish; to surrender; as, to lay down one's life; to lay down
one's arms. (c) To assert or advance, as a proposition or principle.
– To lay forth. (a) To extend at length; (reflexively) to exert
one's self; to expatiate. [Obs.] (b) To lay out (as a corpse). [Obs.]
– To lay hands on, to seize.
– To lay hands on one's self, or To lay violent hands on one's
self, to injure one's self; specif., to commit suicide.
– To lay heads together, to consult.
– To lay hold of, or To lay hold on, to seize; to catch.
– To lay in, to store; to provide.
– To lay it on, to apply without stint. Shak.
– To lay on, to apply with force; to inflict; as, to lay on blows.
– To lay on load, to lay on blows; to strike violently. [Obs. or
Archaic] -- To lay one's self out, to strive earnestly.
No selfish man will be concerned to lay out himself for the good of
his country. Smalridge.
– To lay one's self open to, to expose one's self to, as to an
– To lay open, to open; to uncover; to expose; to reveal.
– To lay over, to spread over; to cover.
– To lay out. (a) To expend. Macaulay. (b) To display; to discover.
(c) To plan in detail; to arrange; as, to lay out a garden. (d) To
prepare for burial; as, to lay out a corpse. (e) To exert; as, to lay
out all one's strength.
– To lay siege to. (a) To besiege; to encompass with an army. (b)
To beset pertinaciously.
– To lay the course (Naut.), to sail toward the port intended
– To lay the land (Naut.), to cause it to disappear below the
horizon, by sailing away from it.
– To lay to (a) To charge upon; to impute. (b) To apply with vigor.
(c) To attack or harass. [Obs.] Knolles. (d) (Naut.) To check the
motion of (a vessel) and cause it to be stationary.
– To lay to heart, to feel deeply; to consider earnestly.
– To lay under, to subject to; as, to lay under obligation or
– To lay unto. (a) Same as To lay to (above). (b) To put before.
Hos. xi. 4.
– To lay up. (a) To store; to reposit for future use. (b) To
confine; to disable. (c) To dismantle, and retire from active
service, as a ship.
– To lay wait for, to lie in ambush for.
– To lay waste, to destroy; to make desolate; as, to lay waste the
– See Put, v. t., and the Note under 4th Lie.
Lay, v. i.
1. To produce and deposit eggs.
Definition: To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay
3. To lay a wager; to bet. To lay about, or To lay about one, to
strike vigorously in all directions. J. H. Newman.
– To lay at, to strike or strike at. Spenser.
– To lay for, to prepare to capture or assault; to lay wait for.
[Colloq.] Bp Hall.
– To lay in for, to make overtures for; to engage or secure the
possession of. [Obs.] "I have laid in for these." Dryden.
– To lay on, to strike; to beat; to attack. Shak.
– To lay out, to purpose; to plan; as, he lays out to make a
1. That which lies or is laid or is conceived of as having been laid
or placed in its position; a row; a stratum; a layer; as, a lay of
stone or wood. Addison.
A viol should have a lay of wire strings below. Bacon.
Note: The lay of a rope is right-handed or left-handed according to
the hemp or strands are laid up. See Lay, v. t., 16. The lay of land
is its topographical situation, esp. its slope and its surface
2. A wager. "My fortunes against any lay worth naming."
(a) A job, price, or profit. [Prov. Eng.] Wright.
(b) A share of the proceeds or profits of an enterprise; as, when a
man ships for a whaling voyage, he agrees for a certain lay. [U. S.]
4. (Textile Manuf.)
(a) A measure of yarn; a les. See 1st Lea (a).
(b) The lathe of a loom. See Lathe, 8.
5. A plan; a scheme. [Slang] Dickens. Lay figure. (a) A jointed model
of the human body that may be put in any attitude; -- used for
showing the disposition of drapery, etc. (b) A mere puppet; one who
serves the will of others without independent volition.
– Lay race, that part of a lay on which the shuttle travels in
weaving; -- called also shuttle race.
Definition: See Lye.
Lie, n. Etym: [AS. lyge; akin to D. leugen, OHG. lugi, G. lüge, lug,
Icel. lygi, Dan. & Sw. lögn, Goth. liugn. See Lie to utter a
1. A falsehood uttered or acted for the purpose of deception; an
intentional violation of truth; an untruth spoken with the intention
It is willful deceit that makes a lie. A man may act a lie, as by
pointing his finger in a wrong direction when a traveler inquires of
him his road. Paley.
2. A fiction; a fable; an untruth. Dryden.
3. Anything which misleads or disappoints.
Wishing this lie of life was o'er. Trench.
To give the lie to. (a) To charge with falsehood; as, the man gave
him the lie. (b) To reveal to be false; as, a man's actions may give
the lie to his words.
– White lie, a euphemism for such lies as one finds it convenient
to tell, and excuses himself for telling.
– Untruth; falsehood; fiction; deception.
– lie, Untruth. A man may state what is untrue from ignorance or
misconception; hence, to impute an untruth to one is not necessarily
the same as charging him with a lie. Every lie is an untruth, but not
every untruth is a lie. Cf. Falsity.
Lie, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Lied; p. pr. & vb. n. Lying.] Etym: [OE.
lien, li, le, leo, AS. leógan; akin to D. liegen, OS. & OHG. liogan,
G. lügen, Icel. lj, Sw. ljuga, Dan.lyve, Goth. liugan, Russ. lgate.]
Definition: To utter falsehood with an intention to deceive; to say or do
that which is intended to deceive another, when he a right to know
the truth, or when morality requires a just representation.
Lie, v. i. [imp. Lay; p. p. Lain, (Lien (, [Obs.]); p. pr. & vb. n.
Lying.] Etym: [OE. lien, liggen, AS. licgan; akin to D. liggen, OHG.
ligen, licken, G. liegen, Icel. liggja, Sw. ligga, Dan. ligge, Goth.
ligan, Russ. lejate, L. lectus bed, Gr. Lair, Law, Lay, v. t.,
Litter, Low, adj.]
1. To rest extended on the ground, a bed, or any support; to be, or
to put one's self, in an horizontal position, or nearly so; to be
prostate; to be stretched out; -- often with down, when predicated of
living creatures; as, the book lies on the table; the snow lies on
the roof; he lies in his coffin.
The watchful traveler . . . Lay down again, and closed his weary
2. To be situated; to occupy a certain place; as, Ireland lies west
of England; the meadows lie along the river; the ship lay in port.
3. To abide; to remain for a longer or shorter time; to be in a
certain state or condition; as, to lie waste; to lie fallow; to lie
open; to lie hid; to lie grieving; to lie under one's displeasure; to
lie at the mercy of the waves; the paper does not lie smooth on the
4. To be or exist; to belong or pertain; to have an abiding place; to
consist; -- with in.
Envy lies between beings equal in nature, though unequal in
He that thinks that diversion may not lie in hard labor, forgets the
early rising and hard riding of huntsmen. Locke.
5. To lodge; to sleep.
Whiles I was now trifling at home, I saw London, . . . where I lay
one night only. Evelyn.
Mr. Quinion lay at our house that night. Dickens.
6. To be still or quiet, like one lying down to rest.
The wind is loud and will not lie. Shak.
Definition: To be sustainable; to be capable of being maintained. "An
appeal lies in this case." Parsons.
Note: Through ignorance or carelessness speakers and writers often
confuse the forms of the two distinct verbs lay and lie. Lay is a
transitive verb, and has for its preterit laid; as, he told me to lay
it down, and I laid it down. Lie is intransitive, and has for its
preterit lay; as, he told me to lie down, and I lay down. Some
persons blunder by using laid for the preterit of lie; as, he told me
to lie down, and I laid down. So persons often say incorrectly, the
ship laid at anchor; they laid by during the storm; the book was
laying on the shelf, etc. It is only necessary to remember, in all
such cases, that laid is the preterit of lay, and not of lie. To lie
along the shore (Naut.), to coast, keeping land in sight.
– To lie at the door of, to be imputable to; as, the sin, blame,
etc., lies at your door.
– To lie at the heart, to be an object of affection, desire, or
anxiety. Sir W. Temple.
– To lie at the mercy of, to be in the power of.
– To lie by. (a) To remain with; to be at hand; as, he has the
manuscript lying by him. (b) To rest; to intermit labor; as, we lay
by during the heat of the day.
– To lie hard or heavy, to press or weigh; to bear hard.
– To lie in, to be in childbed; to bring forth young.
– To lie in one, to be in the power of; to belong to. "As much as
lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Rom. xii. 18.
– To lie in the way, to be an obstacle or impediment.
– To lie in wait , to wait in concealment; to lie in ambush.
– To lie on or upon. (a) To depend on; as, his life lies on the
result. (b) To bear, rest, press, or weigh on.
– To lie low, to remain in concealment or inactive. [Slang] -- To
lie on hand, To lie on one's hands, to remain unsold or unused; as,
the goods are still lying on his hands; they have too much time lying
on their hands.
– To lie on the head of, to be imputed to.
What he gets more of her than sharp words, let it lie on my head.
– To lie over. (a) To remain unpaid after the time when payment is
due, as a note in bank. (b) To be deferred to some future occasion,
as a resolution in a public deliberative body.
– To lie to (Naut.), to stop or delay; especially, to head as near
the wind as possible as being the position of greatest safety in a
gale; -- said of a ship. Cf. To bring to, under Bring.
– To lie under, to be subject to; to suffer; to be oppressed by.
– To lie with. (a) To lodge or sleep with. (b) To have sexual
intercourse with. (c) To belong to; as, it lies with you to make
Definition: The position or way in which anything lies; the lay, as of land
or country. J. H. Newman.
He surveyed with his own eyes . . . the lie of the country on the
side towards Thrace. Jowett (Thucyd.).
Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition