Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

lay up - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

phrasal verb [transitive]
Word Forms
present tense
I/you/we/theylay up
he/she/itlays up
present participlelaying up
past tenselaid up
past participlelaid up
  1. 1
    [usually passive] to make someone stay in bed as a result of being ill or injured
    be laid up (in bed) with something:

    He’s still laid up with a bad back.

  2. 2
    to not use a vehicle or ship for a period of time, especially because it needs to be repaired
  3. 3
    same as lay
See also main entry: lay


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play