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lay - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
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verb lay pronunciation in American English /leɪ/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theylay
he/she/itlays
present participlelaying
past tenselaid
past participlelaid
  1. 1
    [transitive] to put someone or something down in a careful way, especially so that they are lying flat
    lay someone/something on something: Lay the baby on her back.
    lay someone/something across something: He laid his coat across the arm of the chair.
    We lay flowers on her grave once a week.
    Carmen laid her head against my shoulder and fell asleep.
    1. a.
      to put something such as pipes, wires, or a carpet into the correct position in the ground or on the floor, so that they are ready to be used
      The man’s coming to lay the hall carpet tomorrow.
      A hundred miles of new railroad track have been laid.
  2. 3
    [transitive] to carefully plan and prepare something that will be needed in the future to achieve an aim
    lay the groundwork/foundations: The project is intended to lay the groundwork for future research.
    lay a trap (for someone/something) (=prepare for catching someone or something): The gunman realized the police had laid a trap and quickly surrendered.
  3. 4
    [intransitive] spoken a way of sayinglie,” meaning to have your body in a flat position, that many people think is incorrect
    Synonyms and related words

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