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English definition of “lay”

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lay

verb  /leɪ/ ( past tense and past participle laid  /leɪd/) us  

lay verb (PUT DOWN)

[T] to put something down, esp. into a flat or horizontal position: He laid his coat on a chair. She laid the baby (down) in her crib. [T] To lay is also to put down in a careful or systematic way for a particular purpose: We’re having a new carpet laid in the hall next week.

lay verb (PREPARE)

[T] to prepare something: The initial negotiations laid the groundwork for more detailed talks later on.

lay verb (PRODUCE EGGS)

[I/T] (of an animal or bird) to produce eggs from out of its body

lay verb (RISK)

[T] to risk something on the result of an event: I’ll lay odds (= risk money) that she won’t show up.

lay verb (EXPRESS)

[T] to put or express: He laid emphasis on the fact that he had never been found guilty of a crime. She’s trying to lay the blame on someone else (= blame someone else).

lay

adjective [not gradable]  /leɪ/ us  

lay adjective [not gradable] (NOT TRAINED)

not trained in or not having a detailed knowledge of a particular subject: To a lay audience, the mathematics would be difficult.

lay

 /leɪ/ us  

lay (LIE)

past simple of lie
(Definition of lay from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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