Definition of Lay

imp.1.of Lie, to recline.
a.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.
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.
Lay brother
(R. C. Ch.) one received into a convent of monks under the three vows, but not in holy orders.
- F. G. Lee.
Lay clerk
(Eccl.) a layman who leads the responses of the congregation, etc., in the church service.
Lay days
(Com.) time allowed in a charter party for taking in and discharging cargo.
- Hook.
Lay elder
See 2d Elder, 3, note.
- McElrath.
n.1.The laity; the common people.
The learned have no more privilege than the lay.
- B. Jonson.
1.A meadow. See Lea.
1.Faith; creed; religious profession.
Of the sect to which that he was born
He kept his lay, to which that he was sworn.
- Chaucer.
2.A law.
3.An obligation; a vow.
They bound themselves by a sacred lay and oath.
- Holland.
a.1.A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad.
2.A melody; any musical utterance.
The throstle cock made eke his lay.
- Chaucer.
v. t.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.
[imp. & p. p. Laid (lād); p. pr. & vb. n. Laying.]
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. liii. 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.
14.(Law) To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.
15.(Mil.) To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
16.(Rope Making) 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.
17.(Print.) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
To lay asleep
to put sleep; to make unobservant or careless.
To lay bare
to make bare; to strip.
- Bacon.
And laid those proud roofs bare to summer's rain.
- Byron.
Let brave spirits . . . not be laid by.
- Bacon.
No selfish man will be concerned to lay out himself for the good of his country.
- Smalridge.
v. i.1.To produce and deposit eggs.
2.(Naut.) To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft.
3.To lay a wager; to bet.
To lay about
to strike vigorously in all directions.
To lay at
to strike or strike at.
- J. H. Newman.
To lay for
to prepare to capture or assault; to lay wait for.
- Spenser.
To lay in for
to make overtures for; to engage or secure the possession of.
- Bp Hall.
To lay on
to strike; to beat; to attack.
- Dryden.
To lay out
to purpose; to plan; as, he lays out to make a journey.
- Shak.
n.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.
A viol should have a lay of wire strings below.
- Bacon.
2.A wager.
3.A job, price, or profit.
4.(Textile Manuf.) A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea (a).
5.A plan; a scheme.
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.
the lay of the land
the general situation or state of affairs.
to get the lay of the land
to learn the general situation or state of affairs, especially in preparation for action.

Related Words

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Lawn mower
Lawn tennis
Lay baptism
Lay brother
Lay clerk
Lay days
Lay elder
Lay figure
Lay race
Lay reader
Lay shaft
Laying on of hands
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