Definition and Meanings for lay

·This dictionary definitions come from open dictionary GNU Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
·The meaning of a word in English varies according to its part of speech , for this reason the different meanings are ordered by their part of speech.
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Lay is ranked 7,893 in the ranking of most used words in English

Part of Speech of lay

imperfect, adjective, noun, transitive verb, past participle, present participle, verbal noun, intransitive verb

Etymology of lay

f. lai, l. laicus, gr. laic of. lei faith, law, f. loi law. see legal of. lai, lais, prob. of celtic origin; cf. ir. laoi, laoidh, song, poem, oir. laoidh poem, verse; but cf. also as. l play, sport, g. leich a sort of poem (cf. lake to sport). oe. leggen, as. lecgan, causative, fr. licgan to lie; akin to d. leggen, g. legen, icel. leggja, goth. lagjan. see lie to be prostrate

Meaning of lay


as imperfect

  • of lie, to recline.

as adjective

  • of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.
  • not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
  • not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease.

as noun

  • the laity; the common people.

as noun

  • a meadow. see lea.

as noun

  • faith; creed; religious profession.
  • a law.
  • an obligation; a vow.

as adjective

  • a song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad.
  • a melody; any musical utterance.

as transitive verb, imperfect, past participle, present participle, verbal noun

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • to prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan.
  • to spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
  • to cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise, as an evil spirit.
  • to cause to lie dead or dying.
  • to deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.
  • to bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.
  • to apply; to put.
  • to impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on land.
  • to impute; to charge; to allege.
  • to impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
  • to present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one.
  • to state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.
  • to point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
  • 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.
  • to place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.;to place (new type) properly in the cases.

as transitive verb


    as intransitive verb

    • to produce and deposit eggs.
    • to take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft.
    • to lay a wager; to bet.

    as noun

    • 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.

    as transitive verb

    • a wager.
    • a job, price, or profit.; 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.
    • a measure of yarn; a lea. see 1st lea (a).;the lathe of a loom. see lathe, 3.
    • a plan; a scheme.
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