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lie - definition and synonyms


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verb [intransitive] lie pronunciation in American English /laɪ/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlelying
past tenselay
past participlelain
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  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 lay1
  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 resort 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
    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.



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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