laylay2 ●●● S1 W2 verb (past tense and past participle laid /leɪd/) 1 put somebody/something down [transitive always + adverb/preposition]PUT to put someone or something down carefully into a flat position syn place He laid his hand on my shoulder. They laid a wreath at the place where so many people died. Lay the material flat on the table.► see thesaurus at put2 → lay bricks/carpet/concrete/cables etc3 bird/insect etc [intransitive, transitive]HBB if a bird, insect etc lays eggs, it produces them from its body The flies lay their eggs on decaying meat. A cuckoo is able to lay in a range of different nests.4 table [transitive] British EnglishDF to put the cloth, plates, knives, forks etc on a table, ready for a meal syn set John was laying the table. As she spoke, she was laying him a place at the table.5 → lay the foundations/groundwork/base6 give information [transitive] formalACCUSE to make a statement, give information etc in an official or public way syn put Several proposals have been laid before the committee.7 → lay emphasis/stress on something8 → lay a hand/finger on somebody9 → lay something bare/open10 → lay somebody/something open to something11 → lay waste something12 → lay plans/a trap etc13 → lay claim to (doing) something14 → lay siege to somebody/something15 → get laid16 lie [intransitive] spoken to be in a position in which you are flat – some people consider this use to be incorrect syn lie17 risk money [transitive] especially British EnglishRISK to risk an amount of money on the result of a race, sports game etc syn betlay something on something She laid £50 on the favourite, Golden Boy.lay money (that) I’d lay money that he will go on to play for England.18 → lay somebody/something on the line19 → lay something at the door of somebody/something20 → lay somebody low21 → lay somebody to rest22 → lay the ghost (of something) → lay your hands on something at hand1(18), → lay the blame on somebody/something at blame2, → put/lay your cards on the table at card1(13)GRAMMAR: Comparisonlay• You lay something somewhere: She lays a lace cloth over the table. ✗Don’t say: She lies a lace cloth over the table.• You lay someone somewhere: Lay him down gently.• Lay is also the past tense of lie: I lay on the bed. ✗Don’t say: I laid on the bed.lie• Someone lies somewhere: She was lying on her back.Let’s just lie here for a while. ✗Don’t say: She was laying on her back. | Let’s just lay here for a while.• The past tense of lie is laid: She laid the baby in its cot. ✗Don’t say: She lay the baby in its cot. → lay about somebody → lay something ↔ aside → lay something ↔ down → lay something ↔ in → lay into somebody/something → lay off → lay something on → lay somebody/something ↔ out → lay over → lay up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpuslay• It does little more than lay a foundation of principles.• She lay against the pillows, her whole body numb.• He lay down against a wall.• He was laid down on brittle pampas grass and then manhandled by the creatures.• Hey, I told him to lay off of me in practice.• He laid the money on the table as they walked out to the stoop.• It was as if a fall lay within her that she wasn't able to make.Lay ... flat• Maude took a scat at the end of the table and laid her hands flat on the dark mahogany.• Melanie was waiting by the Transit holding two sleeping-bags, the sort that you can unzip and lay flat.• There was more scrub there, but not enough for anyone to hide, unless they lay flat.• She spread out her towel and lay flat, adjusting her sunglasses against the glare above.• Spread the sail and lay it flat as possible with the underside uppermost.• Amazingly, she slipped into a gap between the tracks and lay flat as the Intercity 125 rumbled over her.• The wick lay almost flat in a perilously small amount of wax.• They lay flat, under fire.lay ... eggs• Adults grow to varying sizes, depending on food available, and lay eggs in late summer.• They lay their eggs in midwinter, incubating their eggs and chicks through many blizzards.• Instead, it lays its eggs in nests of other birds, and depends on others to hatch and raise its young.• And they mate, laying their eggs in the shallow tepid pools.• In the Nematoda, the sexes are separate and the males are generally smaller than the females which lay eggs or larvae.• She was laying her eggs; the drones were feeding her.• These females do not lay eggs; they give birth to young aphids, all of which are females.• They will come flying up against the wind and lay their eggs, which will soon turn into white grubs.laying the table• But when she turned round, he was laying the table.• Thérèse and Léonie were laying the table.• In the kitchen Anne and Millie are laying the table for dinner, talking seriously.• Molly went on laying the table, placing knives and forks neatly as though her sanity depended on it.lay money (that)• It was the talking point of the station, she would lay money on that.