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verb [intransitive] lie pronunciation in American English /laɪ/ 
Word Forms
present tense
present participlelying
past tenselay
past participlelain
  1. 1
    to be in a position in which your body is flat on a surface such as the floor or a bed
    lie on/in etc.:

    She was lying on the bed watching television.

    lie still/awake/unconscious etc.:

    I lay awake worrying about work.

    lie on your back/side/stomach etc.:

    Emma was lying on her back in the sunshine.

    See also  lay
  2. 2
    to be on a particular surface or in a particular place

    There were clothes lying all over the floor.

    1. a.
      used for saying where a place is

      The resort lies in a valley.

      The farm lay a few miles to the north.

    2. b.
      formal used for saying where someone is buried

      Here lies the body of James McDonald.

  3. 3
    to be in a particular position in a competition

    As we go into the third round, Evans is lying in third place.

  4. 4
    used for talking about things such as plans, ideas, and qualities and what they consist of

    He must decide where his future lies (=what he is going to do with his life).

    lie in:

    The difficulty lies in knowing what to do next.

  5. 5
    if something lies in a particular state, it is in that state

    The castle lay in ruins.

    Her bag was lying open on the table.

  6. 6
    if your interest lies in a particular subject, you are interested in it

    My main interest lies in the development of new technology.

  7. 7
    past tense lied
    past participle lied
    to deliberately say something that is not true

    It was obvious that she was lying.

    lie about:

    He had to lie about his age to get into the army.

    lie to:

    She admitted lying to the police.

    lie through your teeth (=say something completely false):

    They say they're not married but they're lying through their teeth.



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