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English definition of “lie”

lie

verb (POSITION)    /laɪ/
A2 [I + adv/prep, L] (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) to be in or move into a horizontal position on a surface: to lie in bed to lie on a beach to lie on your side A cat lay in front of the fire. He lies awake at night, worrying. A pen lay on the desk.RecliningNot holding the body upright B1 [I + adv/prep, L] (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) If something lies in a particular place, position, or direction, it is in that place, position, or direction: There's an old pair of shoes of yours lying at/in the bottom of the wardrobe. The river lies 30 km to the south. Cambridge United are lying third in the league. Here lies the body of Mary Taylor (= this is where Mary Taylor is buried). There are several houses lying empty in the town. The town lay in ruins. The ship lies off (= is positioned near) the coast of Spain.Placing and positioning an object [I + adv/prep] (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) to exist: The hardest part of the competition still lies ahead of us.Existing and being C2 [I usually + adv/prep] (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) If responsibility, blame, a decision, a choice, etc. lies with someone, they have responsibility, must make the decision, etc.: Responsibility for the disaster must ultimately lie with the government. Where does the blame lie?Duty, obligation and responsibility lie in state (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) When the dead body of an important person lies in state, it is arranged so that the public can see and honour it before it is buried.Funerals Grammar:Lay or lie?The verb lay means ‘to put something down carefully in a flat position’. It must have an object. It is a regular verb, but note the spelling of the past simple and -ed form: laid not layed:See more
(Definition of lie verb (POSITION) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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