lay - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “lay”

See all translations

lay

verb uk   us   /leɪ/ (laid)

lay verb (PUT DOWN)

C1 [T usually + adv/prep] to put something in especially a flat or horizontal position, usually carefully or for a particular purpose: She laid the baby on the bed. He laid the tray down on the table. She laid aside her book and went to answer the phone. We're having a new carpet laid in the hall next week. The plan is to lay (= build) the foundations for the new apartments in October. [T] to prepare a plan or a method of doing something: Even the best laid plans go wrong sometimes.
More examples

lay verb (LIE)

past simple of lie verb

lay verb (PRODUCE EGGS)

B2 [I or T] (of an animal or bird) to produce eggs from out of the body: Thousands of turtles drag themselves onto the beach and lay their eggs in the sand.

lay verb (HAVE SEX)

[T] slang to have sex with someone: So did you get laid (= find someone to have sex with)?

lay verb (RISK MONEY)

[T] to risk something, usually money, on the result of an event: She won't get the job - I'd lay money on it!

lay verb (EXPRESS)

[T] to express a claim, legal statement, etc. in a serious or official way: She can't accept she made a mistake and now she's trying to lay the blame on (= accuse) her assistant. Do you understand the seriousness of the charge (= legal accusation) that has been laid against you?lay claim to sth to say that you own something: Two companies have laid claim to the design.

lay

adjective [before noun] uk   us   /leɪ/

lay adjective [before noun] (NOT TRAINED)

not trained in or not having a detailed knowledge of a particular subject: From a lay viewpoint the questionnaire is virtually incomprehensible.
See also

lay adjective [before noun] (CHURCH)

having a position in a religious organization that is not a full-time job and is not paid: a lay preacher
See also

lay

noun [C] uk   us   /leɪ/ slang
used to describe how good someone is at sex, or how often they have sex: She's a good lay (= sex with her is enjoyable). She got a reputation as an easy lay (= she was thought to have slept with a lot of people).
(Definition of lay from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of lay?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “lay” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

prime time

in television and radio broadcasting, the time when the largest number of people are watching or listening

Word of the Day

The language of elections

by Liz Walter,
April 22, 2015
On May 7th, citizens of the UK will be going to the polls (having an election) to decide who will form the next government. This kind of election is known as a general election. The country is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies. Each constituency elects a member of parliament (MP) to

Read More 

e-juice noun

April 27, 2015
the liquid content in an e-cigarette, which includes nicotine and may be flavoured in various ways Cannabidiol oil that comes from industrial hemp plants, which is what is infused into our e-juice, is 100 per cent legal.

Read More