• "His grandfather lay gagged and bound on the floor."
    "His grandfather lay gagged and bound on the floor."
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n laying the production of eggs (especially in birds)
    • ***

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: On average, a hen lays 300 eggs per year
    • Laying The act of one who, or that which, lays.
    • Laying The act or period of laying eggs; the eggs laid for one incubation; a clutch.
    • Laying The first coat on laths of plasterer's two-coat work.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: When the female grasshopper lays eggs, she covers her eggs with a pasty liquid that protects the eggs throughout the winter
    • n laying The act of one who or that which lays; the act of depositing or dropping, as eggs: said of birds, etc.
    • n laying The number of eggs laid, as by a flock of hens in one day or other period.
    • n laying In rope-making, the twisting of three or more yarns together to form a strand, or of three strands to form a rope.
    • n laying In plaster-work, the first coat on lathing of two-coat work, the surface of which is usually roughed by sweeping it with a broom.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average chicken lays about 260 eggs a year.
    • Laying the first coat of plaster: the act or time of laying eggs: the eggs laid
    • ***


  • Proverb
    “The owl of ignorance lays the egg of pride.”
  • Francois De La Rochefoucauld
    “Quarrels would not last so long if the fault lay only on one side.”
  • George Washington
    “When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen.”
  • Lord Byron
    “A thousand years may scare form a state. An hour may lay it in ruins.”
  • Ambrose Bierce
    “To apologize is to lay the foundation for a future offense.”
  • Woody Allen
    “The lion and the calf will lay down together, but the calf won't get much sleep..”


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.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Lay is the causal to lie, from A.S. lecgan; Ice. leggja, Ger. legen.


In literature:

Gale number three now sprung up, and during the whole of it we lay under a balanced mizen.
"Hurricane Hurry" by W.H.G. Kingston
In the high chamber where Helen lay burnt a light behind a curtain; and Paul saw a form pass slowly to and fro.
"Paul the Minstrel and Other Stories" by Arthur Christopher Benson
We were down to 4,000 feet, but the fog still lay under us like a blanket.
"Tarrano the Conqueror" by Raymond King Cummings
My Swede and another lay among the rocks with sorely broken bones.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Beyond the sycamores lay the wide river, beyond the river lay Virginia.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston
The university lay at the south end of the little town.
"The Forbidden Trail" by Honoré Willsie
Therein lay a secret prejudice.
"The White Chief" by Mayne Reid
Before night had set in, I had noticed a very beautiful spot on the bank of the arroyo, about two hundred yards from where my comrades lay.
"The Scalp Hunters" by Mayne Reid
The negro race does not live to lay up for a rainy day.
"The Bishop of Cottontown" by John Trotwood Moore
A wonderful stretch of undulating wood-clad country lay spread out before him.
"The Heart of Unaga" by Ridgwell Cullum

In poetry:

Then lay him down, not with that pomp or state
Which follows kings—though he, too, wore a crown
Upon that brow—but with strong England's great
All solemnly and simply lay him down.
"By The Grave of Livingstone" by Alexander Anderson
Beside me Amaryllis weeps;
The swelling tears obscure the deeps
Of her dark eyes, as, mistily,
The rushing rain conceals the sea.
Here, lay my tuneless reed away,--
I have no heart to tempt a lay.
"Farewell To Arcady" by Paul Laurence Dunbar
Lay him down where the fern is thick and fair.
Fain was he for life, here lies he low:
With the blood washed clean from his brow and his beautiful hair,
Lay him here in the dell where the orchids grow.
"Night Burial In The Forest" by Duncan Campbell Scott
Blessed be that hand of snow; and
blessed thy bow of yew! I fall resolved
on death: and who but the daughter of
Dargo was worthy to slay me? Lay me
in the earth, my fair-one; lay me by
the side of Dermid.
"Fragment VII" by James Macpherson
If e'er thou sing'st thy native lay,
As thou wert wont in happier day,
That lay which breath'd of love and truth,
And all the joys of early youth:
Though all those joys are past for thee,
Sing not for others, but for me.
"Sing Not For Others But For Me" by Lady Caroline Lamb
Here is dust remembers it was a rose
one time and lay in a woman's hair.
Here is dust remembers it was a woman
one time and in her hair lay a rose.
Oh things one time dust, what else now is it
you dream and remember of old days?
"Dust" by Carl Sandburg

In news:

Staff lay-offs and consolidations are likely for Illinois' regional offices of education.
Pacific salmon swim upriver to lay their eggs and then they die and float downstream.
The state is not planning to lay off any prosecutors, at least at the moment.
Toronto Police lay first-degree murder charges.
The latest word from the Government Accountability Office: lay off the FDA.
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama lay a wreath as the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks are observed at the Pentagon in Washington, Sunday, Sept 11, 2011.
Two small dead birds lay at the foot of a tree on Bryant St, just off University Ave, in downtown Palo Alto on February 26, 2002.
Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager lays out " draconian " budget.
4-H kids vie for best egg-laying hens in Walker County.
A bill establishing a national standard for the cages in which hens lay eggs has been criticized by farm-state lawmakers.
Groups debate federal animal care standards for egg laying hens.
Did egg-laying lead to the dinosaurs' demise.
2011 Egg laying Part 2.
Female looked like she was laying an egg but she fooled us.
In the middle of a long catwalk, the grinning pop star lay flat on his back.

In science:

As it is clear already from simple mean-field arguments (see Eq. (3)) our estimate for Tc made for the spin concentration p = 0.85 should lay in between corresponding data for p = 0.8 and p = 0.9.
Criticality of the random-site Ising model: Metropolis, Swendsen-Wang and Wolff Monte Carlo algorithms
There were 98 known optical SNRs in M33 when we began this work, of which 78 lay in the field of view of the Chandra archival images.
Revealing the Supernova Remnant Population of M33 with Chandra
The remaining 13 XMM-Newton SNR candidates either fell below the detection threshold of Chandra or lay outside the field of view of the Chandra images.
Revealing the Supernova Remnant Population of M33 with Chandra
Our main purpose in this paper is to lay the foundations of a very general theory of inhomogeneous sparse random graphs.
The phase transition in inhomogeneous random graphs
This equation involves just four points which lay on two orthogonal infinite lattices and are the vertices of an elementary square.
Multiple-scale analysis of discrete nonlinear partial difference equations: the reduction of the lattice potential KdV