• "His grandfather lay gagged and bound on the floor."
    "His grandfather lay gagged and bound on the floor."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj lay not of or from a profession "a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease"
    • adj lay characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy "set his collar in laic rather than clerical position","the lay ministry"
    • v lay 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"
    • v lay put in a horizontal position "lay the books on the table","lay the patient carefully onto the bed"
    • v lay lay eggs "This hen doesn't lay"
    • v lay prepare or position for action or operation "lay a fire","lay the foundation for a new health care plan"
    • v lay impose as a duty, burden, or punishment "lay a responsibility on someone"
    • n lay a narrative poem of popular origin
    • n lay a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Lay-out by Thru Dowling Lay-out by Thru Dowling
Laying out a Dowel Joint Laying out a Dowel Joint
Laying Out a Dovetail Joint Laying Out a Dovetail Joint
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep 094 Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep 094
Laying the Foundation 091 Laying the Foundation 091
The Soldier Lays a Honey Trap The Soldier Lays a Honey Trap

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In one day, a queen bee can lay up to 1500 eggs in one day
    • Lay 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 .
    • Lay A job, price, or profit.
    • Lay A law. "Many goodly lays ."
    • n Lay A meadow. See Lea.
    • Lay (Textile Manuf) A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea.
    • Lay A melody; any musical utterance. "The throstle cock made eke his lay ."
    • Lay A plan; a scheme.
    • Lay A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad.
    • Lay A wager. "My fortunes against any lay worth naming."
    • Lay An obligation; a vow. "They bound themselves by a sacred lay and oath."
    • Lay Faith; creed; religious profession. "Of the sect to which that he was born
      He kept his lay , to which that he was sworn."
    • Lay Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease.
    • Lay Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
    • imp Lay of Lie, to recline.
    • Lay Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.
    • Lay 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."
    • n Lay The laity; the common people. "The learned have no more privilege than the lay ."
    • Lay (Textile Manuf) The lathe of a loom. See Lathe, 3.
    • Lay To apply; to put. "She layeth her hands to the spindle."
    • Lay To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.
    • Lay 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 ."
    • Lay To cause to lie dead or dying. "Brave Cæneus laid Ortygius on the plain,
      The victor Cæneus was by Turnus slain."
    • Lay 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. "A stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den.""Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid ."
    • Lay To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk. "I dare lay mine honor
      He will remain so."
    • Lay 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."
    • Lay To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
    • Lay To impute; to charge; to allege. "God layeth not folly to them.""Lay the fault on us."
    • Lay To lay a wager; to bet.
    • Lay (Print) To place (new type) properly in the cases.
    • Lay (Print) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
    • Lay 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.
    • Lay (Mil) To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
    • Lay To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan.
    • Lay To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one.
    • Lay To produce and deposit eggs.
    • Lay (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.
    • Lay To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
    • Lay (Law) To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.
    • Lay (Naut) To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: If one pound of spaghetti was layed out in one noodle it would be 300 feet long.
    • lay To cause to lie or rest; put or place in a position or situation, or as a deposit or a burden; deposit; place; impose: as, to lay a thing down; to lay one's hands on a thing; to lay a submarine cable; to lay an embargo on something; to lay a tax on land.
    • lay To put or place in some situation, state, or condition expressed by a qualifying adjunct, such as aside, away, by, down, up, etc. (see the phrases below): as, to lay by money; to lay away one's clothes in lavender.
    • lay Specifically To cause to lie in a prostrate, reclining, or recumbent position, as in or on a bed or on the ground.
    • lay To strike down; beat prostrate; overthrow and make prostrate or level.
    • lay To cause to lie quiet or still; bring to a state of rest or quietness; put down; allay.
    • lay To place in contiguity or near relation; juxtapose; annex; conjoin.
    • lay To place in an orderly fashion, as in courses or layers; dispose serially or in courses; put together in proper position: as, to lay bricks; to lay the timbers of a ship.
    • lay To form or construct by arranging and placing in order the serial parts or elements of: as, to lay a foundation; to lay a mine in besieging a town; to lay a floor.
    • lay To put into shape or form mentally; settle or determine upon; fix; arrange; contrive: often with out: as, to lay plans; to lay out a course of action.
    • lay To direct by planning; mark out; order: as, the captain laid his course toward the land.
    • lay To put down or deposit as a stake or wager; stake; risk as a bet on a contingency; wager; bet; venture.
    • lay To place on or over a surface; apply or fix superficially; superpose: as, to lay on paint or plaster; to lay one fabric over another in sewing.
    • lay To cover wholly or in part with something else; coat or mark with something affixed: as, to lay a rope with sennit, or a garment with braid.
    • lay To deposit the proper things on or in: in certain special uses: as, to lay a table (with cloth, dishes, etc.); to lay printers' cases (with new type).
    • lay To bring forth and deposit, as eggs: said specifically of any oviparous animal.
    • lay To put or place to one's account or credit; charge; impute.
    • lay To present or prefer: as, to lay claim to something.
    • lay Specifically, in law:
    • lay To present or bring before a court of justice: as, to lay an indictment.
    • lay To allege; state: as, to lay the venue; to lay damages.
    • lay To search; haunt.
    • lay Same as to lay for (which see, under II.).
    • lay Church embroidery in general.
    • lay To put away permanently; give up; abandon; discard: as, to lay aside a bad habit.
    • lay To lay by or aside for preservation; place in store for safe keeping or future use: as. to lay away a hundred dollars a year.
    • lay To put aside for future use; lay up; reserve: as, to lay by a part of one's income.
    • lay To stake or deposit as a pledge, equivalent, or satisfaction: as, lay down your money.
    • lay To fasten down or apply as embroidery; embroider; decorate.
    • lay To set down, as a plan on paper; delineate: as, to lay down a chart of a shore or sea; in ship-building, to lay off (see below).
    • lay To set down as a basis for argument or action; in general, to affirm; assert: as, to lay down a proposition or principle; especially, to assert magisterially or dictatorially: as, to lay down the law.
    • lay To store away for future use, as wine or provisions in a cellar.
    • lay To dismiss, as a workman, usually temporarily.
    • lay To measure or mark off; delineate on paper, as the details of a surveyor plan.
    • lay In ship-building, to transfer (the plans of a ship) from the paper to the full size on the floor of the mold-loft.
    • lay To turn from any point or object, as the head of a boat
    • lay To supply, as water, gas, etc., to houses by means of pipes leading from a main reservoir: sometimes used figuratively in this sense.
    • lay To turn toward any point or object, as the head of a boat.
    • lay To make an opening in; wound: cut in such a way as to expose what is inside or underneath.
    • lay (b ) To display; show or exhibit.
    • lay To show or set forth; expose.
    • lay To plan; dispose in order the several parts of: as, to lay out a garden.
    • lay To dress in grave-clothes and place in a recumbent and extended posture for burial: said of a corpse.
    • lay To disable; place hors de combat: as, he laid him out with a single blow or shot.
    • lay Figuratively, to importune; besiege with constant solicitations.
    • lay (b ) To attack or harass.
    • lay Nautical, to check the motion of, as a ship, and cause her to be stationary.
    • lay To reserve; hold in reserve.
    • lay To confine to the bed or one's room, as by illness; incapacitate or lay aside for a time.
    • lay Nautical, to dismantle, as a ship, and put in a dock or other place of security.
    • lay To lay together and secure, as the strands of a rope by twisting, or the wires of a wire cable by twisting or binding.
    • lay Synonyms Set, Place, etc. See put.
    • lay To bring forth or produce eggs.
    • lay To contrive; form a scheme; lay plans; take steps.
    • lay To wager; bet; stake money: as, to lay on a race-horse.
    • lay Nautical, to put or place one's self in a certain position; go or come as indicated: as, lay aloft; lay down from aloft; lay aft.
    • lay To lie (in most uses). See lie.
    • lay To take measures; seek.
    • lay Synonyms Lie, Lay. See lie, intransitive verb
    • n lay That which lies or is laid; a layer or stratum.
    • n lay In wool-manuf., a quantity of wool or other fiber in a willow or carding-machine.
    • n lay A bet; a wager; an obligation.
    • n lay Relative position, direction, arrangement, situation, etc.; the way or manner in which a thing lies in relation to something else: as, the lay of the land; the lay of a rope (that is, the direction in which the different strands are twisted).
    • n lay Station; rank.
    • n lay A share of profit; specifically, in whaling and sealing, the proportionate share of the profits of a voyage which each officer and member of the crew receives. These lays are known as a short lay and a long lay. according to the position and experience of the recipient, and are agreed upon between the owners of the vessel and the crew before sailing.
    • n lay A field or method of operations; special kind of theft or roguery: as, his lay is pocket-picking, or the drop game.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average chicken lays about 260 eggs a year.
    • pa.t Lay of lie, to lay one's self down.
    • v.t Lay to cause to lie down: to place or set down: to beat down: to spread on a surface: to conjoin: to spread the proper thing on: to calm: to appease: to wager: to bring forth: to impose: to charge: to present
    • v.i Lay to produce eggs: to wager, bet:—pr.p. lay′ing; pa.t. and pa.p. laid
    • n Lay situation: :
    • n Lay a song: a lyric or narrative poem.
    • adjs Lay pertaining to the people: not clerical: unprofessional:
    • n Lay (Shak.) a bet: a share of profit, esp. in whaling enterprises
    • n Lay (slang) a field or method of operations, esp. of thieves: a measure in thread manufacture, about 800 yards
    • adjs Lay (cards) not trumps
    • ***


  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    “Quarrels would not last so long if the fault lay only on one side.”
  • Alexander Pope
    “Be not the first by which a new thing is tried, or the last to lay the old aside.”
  • Lord Byron
    “A thousand years may scare form a state. An hour may lay it in ruins.”
  • George L. Morrisey
    George L. Morrisey
    “Developing the plan is actually laying out the sequence of events that have to occur for you to achieve your goal.”
  • Samuel Butler
    “The advantage of doing one's praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.”
  • Simonides
    “There is no better test of a man's work than time, which also reveals the thoughts which lay hidden in his breast.”


Home is where you lay your hat - Wherever you are comfortable and at ease with yourself is your home, regardless where you were born or brought up.('Home is where you lay your head' and 'Home is where you hang your hat' are also used.)
Kill the goose that lays the golden egg - If you kill the goose that lays the golden egg, you ruin something that is very profitable.
Lay a glove on - If you lay a glove on someone, you strike a blow against them in an argument, dispute, etc. (Mostly used in the negative)
Lay down the law - If someone lays down the law, they tell people what to do and are authoritarian.
Lay it on thick - If someone lays it on thick, they make an emotion or experience seem more important or serious than it really is.
Lay of the land - The lay of the land is the way something is organised, runs, is arranged, etc. ('The lie of the land' is also used.)
Lay on the table - This phrase occurs in the official records of meetings or deliberations of various government bodies. If a proposal or motion is laid on the table, it is essentially a euphemism, meaning that "nothing further will be done in this matter" or "we are not going to do anything about this" or "we refuse the petition".
Lay waste - To lay waste to something is to destroy it.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. lai, lais, prob. of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. laoi, laoidh, song, poem, OIr. laoidh, poem, verse; but cf. also AS. lāc, play, sport, G. leich, a sort of poem (cf. Lake to sport).
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. lai—L. laicus—Gr. laikoslaos, the people.


In literature:

They reached the little bay where the boat lay pulled up among the rocks.
"The Northern Iron" by George A. Birmingham
Unluckily a boat lay right in the path.
"The Camp in the Snow" by William Murray Graydon
His was the only lamp still glowing: only the starlight, wan and pale, lay over the town.
"The Snowshoe Trail" by Edison Marshall
In that country there was never any spring or summer, and the snow lay deep on the ground all the year round.
"Thirty Indian Legends" by Margaret Bemister
Many, when they had finished their breakfast, lay down on the grass and slept again.
"The Border Watch" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Paul lay down again and all of them waited.
"The Keepers of the Trail" by Joseph A. Altsheler
He lay stretched out there on his green slopes, trying not to think about Jane.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
He lay down, and with his paws tried to pull the collar over his head.
"Frank of Freedom Hill" by Samuel A. Derieux
He gave it up after a while and lay on his rush mat in a state of deep depression.
"The Riflemen of the Ohio" by Joseph A. Altsheler
Without answering, Drayton turned to a mattress that lay in the gloom of one corner, lifted it, took up a coat that lay under it, and put it on.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine

In poetry:

Lay him down with a nation's weeping,
Lay him down with the heart's deep prayer
That the mantle of the martyr
Fall on the vacant chair
"Death Of President Lincoln" by Nora Pembroke
The place where they lay, it has
a name - it has
none. They did not lie there. Something
lay between them. They
did not see through it.
"The Straitening" by Paul Celan
And there they lay through the night so long,
The King’s son and the may,
In talk full sweet, but little of sleep,
So much on their minds there lay.
"Hafbur And Signy" by William Morris
No splendid rite is here—yet lay him low,
Where the sweet brook doth babble by his side.
No splendour, yet we lay him tenderly
To rest, his requiem the artillery.
"A Soldiers Funeral" by John William Streets
His servant girl all sickly lay,
Her aunt had come a while to stay,
Some of the porridge took away,
Into her room;
Unto the bed where her niece lay,
Which proved her doom.
"The Death Of Thomas Stoddart" by Susannah Hawkins
"Sexton! oh, lay beneath this sacred shrine,
When Time's cold hand shall close my aching eyes,
Oh, gently lay this wearied earth of mine,
Where wrap'd in night my loved MILCENA lies.
"The Botanic Garden( Part III)" by Erasmus Darwin

In news:

Sending astronauts to a deep-space outpost beyond the moon's far side could help lay the groundwork for more ambitious manned missions to Mars, some researchers say.
Defense and security company in Lanham may lay off 125.
Defense Contractor To Close Facility In Ventura County, Lay Off Most Workers.
A defense contractor with a factory in Ventura County has announced plans to shut down the facility, and lay off the majority of its more than 200 workers.
Roughly 90 health care providers and lay people took another step toward becoming a "more dementia-competent community" at the fourth annual Dementia Coalition Conference in Eureka on Sept 12.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images A file photo of bags of chips manufactured by PepsiCo Frito-Lay brand.
Detroit author spent a year inside a stamping plant as it lay dying.
The day after delivering his party's platform at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Newark Mayor Cory Booker again tried to lay out the differences between the priorities of Democrats and Republicans.
Progress Software Corp. Will divest itself of 10 product lines and lay off between 10 and 15 percent of its global workforce as the company focuses on its application development and deployment software, the company said Wednesday.
Notable deaths in arts, A to M. Document lays bare CIA torture techniques.
The planted bulbs of garlic will then lay dormant through the winter and will start to grow first thing next spring.
Laying wreaths at the feet of Martinsburg's Doughboy memorial, area veterans, their families and members of the local community paid tribute Sunday to all those who have served during a special Veterans Day ceremony.
It was pouring down rain today and I decided to lay in my front doorway and get some shots of the rain.
The motorcycle maker will cut production and lay off workers as it deal with slowing US sales.
Vikings Lay An Egg On The National Stage.

In science:

This lays the mathematical groundwork for studying randomness in dense packings of spheres and initiates the search for the MRJ state in a quantitative way not possible before.
Is Random Close Packing of Spheres Well Defined?
In fact, any physical observable of a quatum system like those considered here, decreases fast or even vanishes at infinity, and it only matters within the limits of its own spectrum, where all the results of its experimental measures lay.
An Algebraic Formulation of Quantum Decoherence
The above integral is along any path connecting bg+1 and ∞+ laying on the upper half plane of the upper sheet.
Eigenvalue correlations on Hyperelliptic Riemann surfaces
The first two subsections lay the groundwork with a description of the particular family of initial data we are studying, and an overview of our methodology.
Modeling gravitational radiation from coalescing binary black holes
It is more convenient to express p and q from Eqs. (17), (57) respectively and lay all the difficulty in the calculations on the density.
Static charged perfect fluid spheres in general relativity