lie1 S2 W1 past tense lay past participle lain present participle lying, third person singular lies
to be in a position in which your body is flat on the floor, on a bed etc
lie on/in etc
He was lying on the bed smoking a cigarette.
Don't lie in the sun for too long.
For a few minutes he just lay there.
lie still/awake etc
She would lie awake worrying.
The dog was lying dead on the floor.
b) also lie down [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
to put yourself in a position in which your body is flat on the floor or on a bed
Lie flat on the floor.
She lay back against the pillows.
c) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
to be in a flat position on a surface
lie on/in etc➔ see usage note lay2
The papers were lying neatly on his desk.
if a problem, an answer, blame etc lies somewhere, it is caused by, exists, or can be found in that thing, person, or situation
exist[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
fault/blame/responsibility lies with somebody
Part of the blame must lie with social services.
the problem/answer etc lies with/in something
The difficulty lies in providing sufficient evidence.
The strength of the book lies in the fact that the material is from classroom experience.
herein/therein lies the problem/dilemma etc
And herein lies the key to their achievements.
if a town, village, etc lies in a particular place, it is in that place:
place[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
The town lies in a small wooded valley.
The Tasman Sea lies between Tasmania and Australia.
if something lies ahead of you, lies in the future etc, it is going to happen to you in the future
future[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
How will we cope with the difficulties that lie ahead?
A blank and empty future lay before me.
I was wondering what lay in store for us.
to be in a particular state or condition
lie empty/open/hidden etc
The book lay open on the table.
The town now lay in ruins.
to be the most important part of something, especially the main cause of it:
the issue that lies at the heart of the present conflict
to remain hidden because someone is trying to find you or catch you:
We'll have to lie low until tonight.
to wait and try not to be noticed by anyone:
He decided to lie low for a while after the report came out.
to remain hidden in a place and wait for someone so that you can attack them:
a giant crocodile lying in wait for its prey
if something bad lies in wait for you, it is going to happen to you
9 British English
to be in second, third etc position in a competition:
Liverpool are lying third in the football championship.
if something lies heavy on you, it makes you feel unhappy:
The feelings of guilt lay heavy on him.
if someone lies in a particular place, they are buried there:
dead person[intransitive always + adverb/preposition]
Here lies Percival Smythe (=written on a gravestone).
if an important person who has died lies in state, their body is put in a public place so that people can go and look at the body in order to show their respect for that person
➔ let sleeping dogs lieat sleep1 (6)
lie aroundphrasal verb
if something is lying around, it has been left somewhere in an untidy way, rather than being in its proper place:
If you leave your shoes lying around like that, you'll trip over them.
Papers and books lay around the room in complete chaos.
if you lie around, you spend time lying down and not doing anything:
I felt so lazy just lying around on the beach all day.
lie behind somethingphrasal verb
She soon guessed what lay behind his question.
Two basic assumptions lay behind the policy.
lie downphrasal verb
to put yourself in a position in which your body is flat on the floor or on a bed:
Just lie down on the bed.
to accept bad treatment without complaining:
I'm not going to take this lying down!
lie inphrasal verb
lie upphrasal verb
The next day they lay up in a cave.