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Definitions of lay

  1. a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
  2. concerning those not members of the clergy; " set his collar in laic rather than clerical position"; " the lay ministry"; " the choir sings both sacred and secular music"
  3. impose as a duty, burden, or punishment; " lay a responsibility on someone"
  4. not of or from a profession; " a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease"
  5. 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"
  6. put in a horizontal position; " lay the books on the table"; " lay the patient carefully onto the bed"
  7. lay eggs; of female animals; " This hen doesn't lay"
  8. prepare or position for action or operation; " lay a fire"; " lay the foundation for a new health care plan"
  9. lay eggs; " This hen doesn't lay"
  10. of Lie, to recline.
  11. Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.
  12. Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
  13. Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease.
  14. The laity; the common people.
  15. A meadow. See Lea.
  16. Faith; creed; religious profession.
  17. A law.
  18. An obligation; a vow.
  19. A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad.
  20. A melody; any musical utterance.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan.
  24. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
  25. To cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise, as an evil spirit.
  26. To cause to lie dead or dying.
  27. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.
  28. To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.
  29. To apply; to put.
  30. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on land.
  31. To impute; to charge; to allege.
  32. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
  33. To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one.
  34. To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.
  35. To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
  36. 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.
  37. To place and arrange ( pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
  38. To place ( new type) properly in the cases.
  39. To produce and deposit eggs.
  40. To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft.
  41. To lay a wager; to bet.
  42. 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.
  43. A wager.
  44. A job, price, or profit.
  45. 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.
  46. A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea ( a).
  47. The lathe of a loom. See Lathe, 3.
  48. A plan; a scheme.
  49. Past tense of the intransitive verb lie.
  50. To put or place; spread over; cause to lie; settle; calm; bring forth and drop, as an egg; wager; deposit; set or form secretly; as, to lay a trap or plot; impose, as a burden; as, to lay a task on someone.
  51. To produce eggs.
  52. Relating to the people, as distinguished from the clergy, or members of other professions; as, lay delegates to a church convention.
  53. A simple song or poem.
  54. Laid.
  55. Laying.
  56. Pa. t. of LIE, to lay one's self down.
  57. To cause to lie down: to place or set down: to beat down: to spread on a surface: to calm: to appease: to wager: to bring forth: to impose: to charge: to present.
  58. To produce eggs:- pr. p. laying; pa. t. and pa. p. laid.
  59. A song: a lyric or narrative poem.
  60. Pertaining to the laity.
  61. To place, or cause, to lie down; to calm; wager; produce eggs.
  62. To place; deposit; impose; attribute or ascribe; impute; present.
  63. To make ready, as a table for a meal.
  64. To drop eggs, as fowls.
  65. Imp. of LIE, v.
  66. Laic.
  67. The manner in which something lies or is placed; a line of work; a layer; a bet.
  68. A song; ballad.
  69. Pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; not clerical; unprofessional.
  70. That which is laid; a layer; the direction in which the strands of a rope are twisted; share of profit.
  71. A meadow; a lea.
  72. A narrative poem.
  73. To put or place; to beat down; to settle, as dust; to place in order; to spread on a surface; to calm; to appease; to spread and set in order; to wager; to bring forth; to impose; to charge; to enjoin; to present; to set; to contrive; to prefer. To lay a cable, to twiat or unite the strands. To lay apart, to put away. To lay aside, to put off or away; to discontinue. To lay away, to put aside for preservation. To lay before, to exhibit. To lay by, to reserve for future use. To lay down, to deposit; to resign; to relinquish; to offer or advance. To lay one's self down, to commit to repose. To lay hold of, to seize; to catch. To lay in, to store; to treasure. To lay on, to apply with force; to inflict. To lay open, to make bare; to uncovor. To lay over, to spread over; to incrust. To lay out, to expend; to plan; to dispose in order; to dress in grave- clothes, and place in a decent posture. To lay to, to charge upon; to impute; to apply with vigour; to check the motion of a ship. To lay together, to collect; to bring to one place. To lay to heart, to permit to affect greatly. To lay under, to subject to. To lay up, to store; to board; to confine to bed; to dismantle and place in dock. To lay siege, to besiege. To lay the course, to sail toward the port intended without tacking. To lay waste, to destroy; to desolate. To lay the land, to cause the land to appear to sink, by sailing from it.
  74. To bring forth or produce eggs; to contrive; to wager. To lay about, to strike or throw the arms on all sides; to act with vigour. To lay at, to strike, or endeavour to strike. To lay in for, to make overtures for; to engage or secure the possession of. To lay on, to strike; to beat; to deal blows with vehemence; to act with vehemence. To lay out, to purpose; to intend; to take measures.
  75. of Lie
  76. Of the verb lie, often confounded with the verb lay; it is improper, for example, to say, " He lays in bed too long;" it should be, " He lies in bed too long;" see lie.
  77. To put or place; to extend, as on the ground; to still; to keep from rising; to impute; to wager; to fix deep; to produce, as eggs; among seamen, to take a position; to come or go, as to lay forward.
  78. That which lies or is laid; a stratum; a layer.
  79. Not- clerical; pert. to the people as distinguished from the clergy.
  80. A song; a poem in a simple style; a metrical tale.
  81. The old spelling of lea, which see.
  82. Land under grass; grass or meadow- land.
  83. Did lie.
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Usage examples for lay

  1. Axel cannot move a hand to point, only tell where it lay before, but 'tis not there now. – Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun
  2. Does he lay them on the table? – Amusements in Mathematics by Henry Ernest Dudeney
  3. How many more lay behind the hill, nobody of course could tell. – Pretty Michal by Mór Jókai
  4. She lay in bed. – Joanna Godden by Sheila Kaye-Smith
  5. All right; here's the lay- out. – The Honorable Senator Sage-Brush by Francis Lynde
  6. You lay your life, sir, said Hinge, I'll find her. – In Direst Peril by David Christie Murray
  7. He went into the back room and lay down with the children. – Marcella by Mrs. Humphry Ward
  8. If you lay a little thing like that up against me, where would the rest of the men get off? – Nan of Music Mountain by Frank H. Spearman
  9. Before them lay the town. – Bertha Garlan by Arthur Schnitzler
  10. He lay perfectly still. – The Adventures of Jimmie Dale by Frank L. Packard
  11. Her hand lay in his while he said it. – The Keeper of the Door by Ethel M. Dell
  12. There lay the difference between him and the other men. – The Huntress by Hulbert Footner
  13. But you can lay to it that Sinclair won't talk. – The Rangeland Avenger by Max Brand
  14. That way danger lay. – Alias The Lone Wolf by Louis Joseph Vance
  15. What followed lay as far off as the end of the world. – The Song of Songs by Hermann Sudermann
  16. Yes, I'll die easy, even though Lovedy ain't with me, even though I'll never lay my eyes on my Lovedy again. – The Children's Pilgrimage by L. T. Meade
  17. Mrs. Morgan stepped to the door, and looked into the room where her husband lay. – Ten Nights in a Bar Room by T. S. Arthur
  18. I have power to lay it down and power to take it again. – Quiet Talks on Power by S.D. Gordon
  19. All day he lay there. – The Treasure of the Incas by G. A. Henty
  20. And as he lay there a new thought came to him. – The Flag by Homer Greene
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