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LAY (laid)

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does lay mean? 

LAY (noun)
  The noun LAY has 2 senses:

1. a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
2. a narrative poem of popular origin

  Familiarity information: LAY used as a noun is rare.


LAY (adjective)
  The adjective LAY has 2 senses:

1. concerning those not members of the clergy
2. not of or from a profession

  Familiarity information: LAY used as an adjective is rare.


LAY (verb)
  The verb LAY has 5 senses:

1. put into a certain place or abstract location
2. put in a horizontal position
3. prepare or position for action or operation
4. lay eggs
5. impose as a duty, burden, or punishment

  Familiarity information: LAY used as a verb is common.


 Dictionary entry details 


LAY (noun)


Sense 1lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A narrative song with a recurrent refrain

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

ballad; lay

Hypernyms ("lay" is a kind of...):

song; vocal (a short musical composition with words)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "lay"):

minstrelsy (ballads sung by minstrels)


Sense 2lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A narrative poem of popular origin

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

ballad; lay

Hypernyms ("lay" is a kind of...):

poem; verse form (a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "lay"):

Edda (either of two distinct works in Old Icelandic dating from the late 13th century and consisting of 34 mythological and heroic ballads composed between 800 and 1200; the primary source for Scandinavian mythology)


LAY (adjective)


Sense 1lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Concerning those not members of the clergy

Synonyms:

laic; lay; secular

Context examples:

set his collar in laic rather than clerical position / the lay ministry / the choir sings both sacred and secular music

Similar:

profane (not sacred or concerned with religion)


Sense 2lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Not of or from a profession

Context example:

a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease

Similar:

nonprofessional (not professional; not engaged in a profession or engaging in as a profession or for gain)


LAY (verb)


Sense 1lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Put into a certain place or abstract location

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Synonyms:

set; put; place; lay; position; pose

Context examples:

Put your things here / Set the tray down / Set the dogs on the scent of the missing children / Place emphasis on a certain point

Hypernyms (to "lay" is one way to...):

displace; move (cause to move, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "lay"):

lose; mislay; misplace (place (something) where one cannot find it again)

upend (set, turn, or stand on end)

seat; sit; sit down (show to a seat; assign a seat for)

lay; put down; repose (put in a horizontal position)

place upright; stand; stand up (put into an upright position)

recline (cause to recline)

plant; set (put or set (seeds, seedlings, or plants) into the ground)

pillow; rest (rest on or as if on a pillow)

ground (place or put on the ground)

barrel (put in barrels)

bucket (put into a bucket)

bottle (put into bottles)

set down (put or settle into a position)

juxtapose (place side by side)

misplace (place or position wrongly; put in the wrong position)

seed; sough; sow (place (seeds) in or on the ground for future growth)

place down; put down; set down (cause to sit or seat or be in a settled position or place)

instal; install; put in; set up (set up for use)

deposit; fix; posit; situate (put (something somewhere) firmly)

imbricate (place so as to overlap)

throw (to put into a state or activity hastily, suddenly, or carelessly)

settle; settle down (settle into a position, usually on a surface or ground)

marshal (place in proper rank)

space (place at intervals)

glycerolise; glycerolize (place in glycerol)

position (cause to be in an appropriate place, state, or relation)

siphon (move a liquid from one container into another by means of a siphon or a siphoning action)

set (put into a position that will restore a normal state)

cram (put something somewhere so that the space is completely filled)

load (put (something) on a structure or conveyance)

perch (cause to perch or sit)

rest (put something in a resting position, as for support or steadying)

clap (put quickly or forcibly)

lean (cause to lean or incline)

poise (cause to be balanced or suspended)

ladle (put (a liquid) into a container by means of a ladle)

appose (place side by side or in close proximity)

bed (put to bed)

enclose; inclose; insert; introduce; put in; stick in (introduce)

ensconce; settle (fix firmly)

park (place temporarily)

superpose (place (one geometric figure) upon another so that their perimeters coincide)

lay over; superimpose; superpose (place on top of)

arrange; set up (put into a proper or systematic order)

pile (place or lay as if in a pile)

nestle; snuggle (position comfortably)

intersperse (place at intervals in or among)

plant (place something or someone in a certain position in order to secretly observe or deceive)

stratify (form, arrange, or deposit in layers)

put back; replace (put something back where it belongs)

step (place (a ship's mast) in its step)

prepose (place before another constituent in the sentence)

postpose (place after another constituent in the sentence)

cock (set the trigger of a firearm back for firing)

docket (place on the docket for legal action)

emplace (put into place or position)

emplace (provide a new emplacement for guns)

ship (place on board a ship)

coffin (place into a coffin)

rack up (place in a rack)

tee; tee up (place on a tee)

throw; thrust (place or put with great energy)

reposition (place into another position)

recess (put into a recess)

butt (place end to end without overlapping)

parallelize (place parallel to one another)

middle (put in the middle)

sign (place signs, as along a road)

underlay (put (something) under or beneath)

trench (set, plant, or bury in a trench)

pigeonhole (place into a small compartment)

shelve (place on a shelf)

jar (place in a cylindrical vessel)

repose (to put something (eg trust) in something)

put forward; stick (cause to protrude or as if to protrude)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something PP

Sentence example:

They lay the bags on the table

Also:

lay out (lay out orderly or logically in a line or as if in a line)


Sense 2lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Put in a horizontal position

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Synonyms:

put down; lay; repose

Context examples:

lay the books on the table / lay the patient carefully onto the bed

Hypernyms (to "lay" is one way to...):

lay; place; pose; position; put; set (put into a certain place or abstract location)

Cause:

lie (be lying, be prostrate; be in a horizontal position)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "lay"):

rail (lay with rails)

lay; blow (lay eggs)

bury; entomb; inhume; inter; lay to rest (place in a grave or tomb)

rebury (bury again)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s somebody PP
Somebody ----s something PP

Also:

lay aside (feather one's nest; have a nest egg)

lay away (save up as for future use)

lay over (place on top of)


Sense 3lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Prepare or position for action or operation

Classified under:

Verbs of sewing, baking, painting, performing

Context examples:

lay a fire / lay the foundation for a new health care plan

Hypernyms (to "lay" is one way to...):

devise; get up; machinate; organise; organize; prepare (arrange by systematic planning and united effort)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


Sense 4lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Lay eggs

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Context example:

This hen doesn't lay

Hypernyms (to "lay" is one way to...):

lay; put down; repose (put in a horizontal position)

Troponyms (each of the following is one way to "lay"):

spawn (lay spawn)

Sentence frame:

Something ----s


Sense 5lay [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Impose as a duty, burden, or punishment

Classified under:

Verbs of buying, selling, owning

Context example:

lay a responsibility on someone

Hypernyms (to "lay" is one way to...):

impose; levy (impose and collect)

Sentence frames:

Somebody ----s something
Something ----s something
Somebody ----s something PP


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Mouth is in gear, brain is in neutral" (English proverb)

"A crow a crow's eyes doesn't peck." (Bulgarian proverb)

"Believe what you see and not all you hear." (Arabic proverb)

"Nothing is blacker than the pan." (Corsican proverb)

 LAY: related words searches 

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