Definition of Lay

  • (imp.) of Lie, to recline.
  • (a.) Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.
  • (a.) Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
  • (a.) Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease.
  • (n.) The laity; the common people.
  • (n.) A meadow. See Lea.
  • (n.) Faith; creed; religious profession.
  • (n.) A law.
  • (n.) An obligation; a vow.
  • (a.) A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad.
  • (a.) A melody; any musical utterance.
  • (v. t.) 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.
  • (v. t.) 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.
  • (v. t.) To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan.
  • (v. t.) To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
  • (v. t.) To cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise, as an evil spirit.
  • (v. t.) To cause to lie dead or dying.
  • (v. t.) To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.
  • (v. t.) To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.
  • (v. t.) To apply; to put.
  • (v. t.) To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on land.
  • (v. t.) To impute; to charge; to allege.
  • (v. t.) To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
  • (v. t.) To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one.
  • (v. t.) To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.
  • (v. t.) To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
  • (v. t.) 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.
  • (v. t.) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
  • (v. t.) To place (new type) properly in the cases.
  • (v. i.) To produce and deposit eggs.
  • (v. i.) To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft.
  • (v. i.) To lay a wager; to bet.
  • (n.) 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.
  • (v. t.) A wager.
  • (v. t.) A job, price, or profit.
  • (v. t.) 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.
  • (v. t.) A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea (a).
  • (v. t.) The lathe of a loom. See Lathe, 3.
  • (v. t.) A plan; a scheme.
  • (imp.) of Lie

Antonyms of Lay


Homophones of Lay





Common English words

A list of the most frequently used words in the English languge.

Longest English Words

Longest words in the Oxford Dictionary.