Lay - definition, pronunciation, transcription

Amer.  |leɪ|  American pronunciation of the word lay
Brit.  |leɪ|  British pronunciation of the word lay
irregular verb:  p.t. — laid  p.p. — laid
- this word is a past tense form of the irregular verbto lie


- a narrative song with a recurrent refrain (syn: ballad)
- a narrative poem of popular origin (syn: ballad)
- put into a certain place or abstract location (syn: place, pose, position, put, set)
- put in a horizontal position (syn: put down, repose)
- prepare or position for action or operation
- lay eggs
- impose as a duty, burden, or punishment
- characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy (syn: laic, secular)
- not of or from a profession


Lay the fabric carefully on the table.

When will they lay the foundation for the addition?

lay tracks for the new railroad

a science magazine written for the lay public

The patient's lay diagnosis was close to the doctor's.

Lay the packages on the table.

Lay the wounded soldier down carefully so as not to hurt him.

Lay the cartons one on top of the other.

It's a mistake to lay too much emphasis on grades.

For a year or two he wrote poetry. But then he gave up that lay.

Lay the material flat on the table.

The flies lay their eggs on decaying meat.

A cuckoo is able to lay in a range of different nests.

I'd lay money that he will go on to play for England.

I'll lay money that they'll say yes.

Phrasal verbs

lay aside  — accumulate money for future use
lay down  — institute, enact, or establish
lay in  — keep or lay aside for future use
lay off  — put an end to a state or an activity
lay out  — lay out orderly or logically in a line or as if in a line
lay over  — interrupt a journey temporarily, e.g., overnight
lay up  — disable or confine, as with an illness

Word forms

I/you/we/they: lay
he/she/it: lays
present participle: laying
past tense: laid
past participle: laid
singular: lay
plural: lays
See also:  WebsterWiktionaryLongman