lie Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “lie” in the English Dictionary

"lie" in British English

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lieverb

uk   us   /laɪ/
  • lie verb (POSITION)

A2 [I + adv/prep, L] (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) to be in or ​move into a ​horizontalposition on a ​surface: to lie in ​bed to lie on a ​beach to lie on ​yourside A ​cat lay in ​front of the ​fire. He lies awake at ​night, ​worrying. A ​pen lay on the ​desk.B1 [I + adv/prep, L] (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) If something lies in a ​particularplace, ​position, or ​direction, it is in that ​place, ​position, or ​direction: There's an ​oldpair of ​shoes of yours lying at/in the ​bottom of the ​wardrobe. The ​river lies 30 km to the ​south. The ​team is 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. [I + adv/prep] (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) to ​exist: The ​hardestpart of the ​competition still lies ahead of us.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?lie in state (present participle lying, past tense lay, past participle lain) When the ​deadbody of an ​importantperson lies in ​state, it is ​arranged so that the ​public can ​see and ​honour it before it is ​buried.

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  • lie verb (SPEAK FALSELY)

B1 [I] (present participle lying, past tense lied, past participle lied) to say or write something that is not ​true in ​order to ​deceive someone: Are you lying to me? Don't ​trust her - she's lying. I ​suspect he lies about his ​age.
See also

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lienoun [C]

uk   us   /laɪ/
B1 something you say that you ​know is not ​true: I told a lie when I said I ​liked her ​haircut.

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(Definition of lie from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"lie" in American English

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lieverb

 us   /lɑɪ/
  • lie verb (POSITION)

(present participle lying  /ˈlɑɪ·ɪŋ/ , past tense lay  /leɪ/ , past participle lain  /leɪn/ ) to be in or move into a ​horizontalposition on a ​surface: [I always + adv/prep] The ​mechanic was lying on his back ​underneath my ​car. [I always + adv/prep] I ​love to lie down in ​front of the ​fire and ​read. [L] He lies ​awake at ​night, ​worrying. (present participle lying  /ˈlɑɪ·ɪŋ/ , past tense lay  /leɪ/ , past participle lain  /leɪn/ ) If something lies in a ​particularplace, ​position, ​condition, or ​direction it is in that ​place, ​position, ​condition, or ​direction: [I always + adv/prep] The ​river lies 40 ​miles to the ​south of us. [I always + adv/prep] You shouldn’t ​leave that ​check lying around (= not in ​itsplace).
  • lie verb (SPEAK FALSELY)

[I/T] (present participle lying  /ˈlɑi·ɪŋ/ , past tense and past participle lied) to say something that is not ​true in ​order to ​deceive: [I] Both ​witnesses lied to the ​police about what ​happened. [T always + adv/prep] She lied her way past the ​guards.
lie
noun [C]  us   /lɑɪ/
(SPEAKING FALSELY) Her ​report is ​full of lies and ​misinformation.
Idioms
(Definition of lie from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“lie” in British English

“lie” in American English

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