lay Definition in Cambridge British English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Definition of "lay" - British English Dictionary

See all translations

layverb

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.

layadjective [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

laynoun [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
dole

the money that the government gives to people who are unemployed

Word of the Day

Are you a glass-half-full person? (Everyday Idioms)
Are you a glass-half-full person? (Everyday Idioms)
by Kate Woodford,
July 29, 2015
A reader of this blog recently asked for a post on idioms that are used in everyday English. This seemed like a reasonable request. After all, if you are going to make the effort to learn a set of English idioms, you want those idioms to be useful. The question, then, was

Read More 

responsible luxury noun
responsible luxury noun
August 03, 2015
high-end, green tourism and hospitality Jumeirah’s ‘responsible luxury’ approach is an example of a sustainable travel experience – future guests will enjoy the environment as much as today’s.

Read More