› to put something onto a surface or under the ground in a horizontal position: lay a pipe/cable Workmen were digging up the street to lay cables. They prepared the ground, then laid concrete.
› to prepare for doing something or to make it possible for something to happen in the future: lay the basis/foundation/groundwork for sth Perhaps more than anyone, he laid the groundwork for today's digital revolution.
› to bet (= risk) something on the result of an event: lay odds/a wager I'll lay odds that she won't take the job.
lay blame (on sb/sth) › to say that someone or something is responsible for something bad that happened: You can't lay blame on the government for all your troubles. When projects go wrong, everyone looks for somewhere to lay the blame.
lay claim to sth › to say that you own something or have a right to it: Through a series of buyouts, we laid claim to the best intellectual property of our time.
lay an egg › informalUS to make something that does not work well or that fails: They laid an egg by putting last decade's technology in that phone.