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lay Idioms & Phrases

cream laid

Cream" laid`
  1. See under Laid.
Webster 1913


  • adjective satellite secretly and carefully planned
    • deep-laid plans
Deep"-laid` adjective
  1. Laid deeply; formed with cunning and sagacity; as, deep-laid plans.
Webster 1913

easy lay

  • noun street names for gamma hydroxybutyrate
    Georgia home boy; grievous bodily harm; liquid ecstasy; max; scoop; goop; soap.

egg laying

  • noun the production of eggs (especially in birds)

egg-laying mammal

  • noun the most primitive mammals comprising the only extant members of the subclass Prototheria

get laid

  • verb have sexual intercourse with
    love; fuck; sleep with; have it away; screw; have intercourse; get it on; lie with; hump; make love; make out; have a go at it; bonk; eff; have sex; jazz; be intimate; know; have it off; bang; bed; do it; roll in the hay; sleep together.
    • This student sleeps with everyone in her dorm
    • Adam knew Eve
    • Were you ever intimate with this man?


Haws"er-laid` adjective
  1. Made in the manner of a hawser. Cf. Cable-laid, and see Illust. of Cordage.
Webster 1913

laid low

  • adjective satellite put out of action (by illness)

laid paper

  • noun writing paper having a watermark of fine lines running across the grain

laid up

  • adjective satellite ill and usually confined
    • laid up with a bad cold


  • adjective satellite unhurried and relaxed
    • a mellow conversation


  • adjective satellite having lost your job
    pink-slipped; dismissed; discharged; fired.

lay aside

  • verb accumulate money for future use
    save; save up.
    • He saves half his salary

lay away

  • verb save up as for future use
    squirrel away; cache; stash; hive up; hoard.

Lay baptism

  • (Eccl.), baptism administered by a lay person. F. G. Lee.
Webster 1913

Lay brother

  • (R. C. Ch.), one received into a convent of monks under the three vows, but not in holy orders.
Webster 1913

lay claim

  • verb demand as being one's due or property; assert one's right or title to
    claim; arrogate.
    • He claimed his suitcases at the airline counter
    • Mr. Smith claims special tax exemptions because he is a foreign resident

Lay clerk

  • (Eccl.), a layman who leads the responses of the congregation, etc., in the church service. Hook.
Webster 1913

Lay days

  • (Com.), time allowed in a charter party for taking in and discharging cargo. McElrath.
Webster 1913

lay down

  • verb institute, enact, or establish
    make; establish.
    • make laws

Lay elder

  • . See 2d Elder, 3, note.
Webster 1913

lay eyes on

  • verb see with attention
    • behold Christ!

Lay figure

  • noun dummy in the form of an artist's jointed model of the human body
  • . (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.
Webster 1913

lay hands on

  • verb manage with the hands

lay in

  • verb keep or lay aside for future use
    salt away; put in; stack away; hive away; stash away; store.
    • store grain for the winter
    • The bear stores fat for the period of hibernation when he doesn't eat

lay into

  • verb hit violently, as in an attack
    pitch into; lace into; lam into; tear into.

lay off

  • verb put an end to a state or an activity
    quit; discontinue; stop; give up; cease.
    • Quit teasing your little brother
  • verb dismiss, usually for economic reasons
    • She was laid off together with hundreds of other workers when the company downsized

lay on the line

  • verb expose to a chance of loss or damage
    put on the line; risk.
    • We risked losing a lot of money in this venture
    • Why risk your life?
    • She laid her job on the line when she told the boss that he was wrong

lay out

  • verb lay out orderly or logically in a line or as if in a line
    range; array; set out.
    • lay out the clothes
    • lay out the arguments
  • verb get ready for a particular purpose or event
    set; set up.
    • set up an experiment
    • set the table
    • lay out the tools for the surgery
  • verb spend or invest
    • lay out thousands on gold
    • he laid out a fortune in the hope of making a huge profit
  • verb bring forward and present to the mind
    represent; present.
    • We presented the arguments to him
    • We cannot represent this knowledge to our formal reason
  • verb provide a detailed plan or design
    • She laid out her plans for the new house

lay over

  • verb interrupt a journey temporarily, e.g., overnight
    stop over.
    • We had to stop over in Venezuela on our flight back from Brazil
  • verb place on top of
    superimpose; superpose.
    • can you superimpose the two images?

Lay race

  • that part of a lay on which the shuttle travels in weaving; called also shuttle race.
Webster 1913

lay reader

  • noun a layman who is authorized by the bishop to read parts of the service in an Anglican or Episcopal church

lay to rest

  • verb place in a grave or tomb
    inhume; inter; bury; entomb.
    • Stalin was buried behind the Kremlin wall on Red Square
    • The pharaohs were entombed in the pyramids
    • My grandfather was laid to rest last Sunday

lay up

  • verb disable or confine, as with an illness
    • She was laid up with pneumonia for six weeks

lay waste to

  • verb cause extensive destruction or ruin utterly
    desolate; devastate; scourge; ravage; waste.
    • The enemy lay waste to the countryside after the invasion

lay witness

  • noun any witness who does not testify as an expert witness


  • noun designated paved area beside a main road where cars can stop temporarily
    rest stop; pull-off; rest area; layby.


  • noun a basketball shot made with one hand from a position under or beside the basket (and usually banked off the backboard)

laying claim

  • noun the act of taking possession of or power over something
    • his assumption of office coincided with the trouble in Cuba
    • the Nazi assumption of power in 1934
    • he acquired all the company's assets for ten million dollars and the assumption of the company's debts

laying on

  • noun the act of contacting something with your hand
    • peonies can be blighted by the laying on of a finger

laying on of hands

  • noun the application of a faith healer's hands to the patient's body
  • noun laying hands on a person's head to invoke spiritual blessing in Christian ordination

laying waste

  • noun destruction achieved by causing something to be wrecked or ruined
    ruination; ruin; ruining; wrecking.


Plain"-laid` adjective
  1. (Naut.) Consisting of strands twisted together in the ordinary way; as, a plain-laid rope. See Illust. of Cordage.
Webster 1913


Shroud"-laid` adjective
  1. Composed of four strands, and laid right-handed with a heart, or center; -- said of rope. See Illust. under Cordage.
Webster 1913

To lay (a fault, misfortune, etc.) at one's door

  • to charge one with a fault; to blame for.
Webster 1913

To lay (a ship) aboard

  • to place one's own ship close alongside of (a ship) for fighting.
Webster 1913

To lay a venue

  • (Law), to allege a place.
Webster 1913

To lay about, ∨ To lay about one

  • to strike vigorously in all directions. J. H. Newman.
Webster 1913

To lay an ambush

  • to post a force in ambush.
Webster 1913

To lay an anchor to the windward

  • a figurative expression, signifying to adopt precautionary or anticipatory measures for success or security.
Webster 1913

To lay asleep

  • to put sleep; to make unobservant or careless. Bacon.
Webster 1913

To lay at

  • to strike or strike at. Spenser.
Webster 1913

To lay bare

  • to make bare; to strip.
    And laid those proud roofs bare to summer's rain. Byron.
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To lay before

  • to present to; to submit for consideration; as, the papers are laid before Congress.
Webster 1913

To lay by

  • . (a) To save. (b) To discard .
    Let brave spirits . . . not be laid by. Bacon.
Webster 1913

To lay by the heels

  • to fetter; to shackle; to imprison. Shak. Addison.
  • to put in the stocks. Shak.
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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.
Webster 1913

To lay for

  • to prepare to capture or assault; to lay wait for. Colloq. Bp Hall.
Webster 1913

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. Shak.
Webster 1913

To lay hands on

  • to seize.
  • to seize; to assault.
Webster 1913

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.
Webster 1913

To lay heads together

  • to consult.
  • to consult; to conspire.
Webster 1913

To lay hold of, ∨ To lay hold on

  • to seize; to catch.
Webster 1913

To lay in

  • to store; to provide.
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To lay in balance

  • to put up as a pledge or security. Obs. Chaucer.
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To lay in for

  • to make overtures for; to engage or secure the possession of. Obs. "I have laid in for these." Dryden.
Webster 1913

To lay in lavender

  • . (a) To lay away, as clothing, with sprigs of lavender . (b) To pawn. Obs.
Webster 1913

To lay it on

  • to apply without stint. Shak.
Webster 1913

To lay on

  • to apply with force; to inflict; as, to lay on blows.
  • to strike; to beat; to attack. Shak.
Webster 1913

To lay on load

  • to lay on blows; to strike violently. Obs. ∨ Archaic
Webster 1913

To lay on the shelf

  • to lay aside as unnecessary or useless; to dismiss; to discard.
Webster 1913

To lay one's self open to

  • to expose one's self to, as to an accusation.
Webster 1913

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.
Webster 1913

To lay open

  • to open; to uncover; to expose; to reveal.
Webster 1913

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 purpose; to plan; as, he lays out to make a journey.
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To lay over

  • to spread over; to cover.
Webster 1913

To lay siege to

  • . (a) To besiege; to encompass with an army. (b) To beset pertinaciously.
Webster 1913

To lay stress upon

  • to attach great importance to; to emphasize. "Consider how great a stress is laid upon this duty." Atterbury.
Webster 1913

To lay the course

  • (Naut.), to sail toward the port intended without jibing.
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To lay the land

  • (Naut.), to cause it to disappear below the horizon, by sailing away from it.
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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.
Webster 1913

To lay to heart

  • to feel deeply; to consider earnestly.
Webster 1913

To lay under

  • to subject to; as, to lay under obligation or restraint.
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To lay unto

  • . (a) Same as To lay to (above). (b) To put before . Hos. xi. 4.
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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.
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To lay wait

  • to prepare an ambuscade.
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To lay wait for

  • to lie in ambush for.
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To lay waste

  • to destroy; to make desolate; as, to lay waste the land.
Webster 1913


Wa"ter-laid` adjective
  1. Having a left-hand twist; -- said of cordage; as, a water-laid, or left-hand, rope.
Webster 1913