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Definition of Lay


  1. of Lie, to recline.
  2. Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.
  3. Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
  4. Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease.
  5. The laity; the common people.
  6. A meadow. See Lea.
  7. Faith; creed; religious profession.
  8. A law.
  9. An obligation; a vow.
  10. A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad.
  11. A melody; any musical utterance.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan.
  15. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
  16. To cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise, as an evil spirit.
  17. To cause to lie dead or dying.
  18. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.
  19. To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.
  20. To apply; to put.
  21. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on land.
  22. To impute; to charge; to allege.
  23. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
  24. To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one.
  25. To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.
  26. To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
  27. 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.
  28. To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
  29. To place (new type) properly in the cases.
  30. To produce and deposit eggs.
  31. To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft.
  32. To lay a wager; to bet.
  33. 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.
  34. A wager.
  35. A job, price, or profit.
  36. 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.
  37. A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea (a).
  38. The lathe of a loom. See Lathe, 3.
  39. A plan; a scheme.
  40. of Lie

Lay Quotations

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. - David Brinkley
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley

I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.
Saint Augustine

The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter - for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way.
Nikola Tesla

Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap.
Barbara Jordan
More "Lay" Quotations

Lay Translations

lay in Dutch is neerleggen, leggen, vlijen
lay in French is pondre, pose
lay in German is legen
lay in Italian is posare
lay in Latin is iacio
lay in Norwegian is kvad, legge
lay in Spanish is poner, aovar
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