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lie - definition and synonyms

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verb [intransitive]     lie pronunciation in British English
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.

    1. a.
      to put yourself in a position in which your body is flat on a surface

      Go and lie on the bed until you feel better.

    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 village 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.

      Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    to be in a particular position in a competition

    O’Connell is currently lying in second position in the world championship.

    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 tenselied
    past participlelied
    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.

    1. a.
      if something lies, it shows or suggests facts that are not true

      The results of these surveys often lie.

  8. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    I won't lie to you said to prove that you are telling the truth about something

    I like Lucy, I won't lie to you.

    Submitted by James Strangward from United Kingdom on 23/05/2014
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a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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