Did you know?

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

overlay - 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.

verb [transitive] [usually passive]     overlay pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleoverlaying
past tenseoverlaid
past participleoverlaid

Related words

  1. 1
    to cover the surface of something with a thin layer of a substance, especially for decoration
    1. a.
      to put one thing on top of another, so that they both show

      software that lets you overlay graphics with text

  2. 2
    if a sound, taste, smell, or feeling is overlaid with another one, enough of the other one is added to be noticeable

Open Dictionary


a rise in the level of a stream or river

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