lay down - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb
present tense
I/you/we/theylay down
he/she/itlays down
present participlelaying down
past tenselaid down
past participlelaid down
  1. 1
    [transitive] to put something down in order to show you are not going to use it again, for example a weapon or tool

    Please stop writing and lay down your pencils.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to state officially what someone must do or how they must do it

    The EU has laid down tough standards for water quality.

    lay down that:

    The rules laid down that he could not directly intervene.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to form a layer of something such as soil or mud that gradually becomes hard and develops into rock
  4. 4
    [intransitive] spoken a way of sayinglie down’ that many people think is incorrect
  5. 5
    lay down the law to tell someone what to do or how to behave in a way that shows that you expect them to obey you completely

    With kids like that you have to lay down the law and let them see you’re serious.

See also main entry: lay