Definitions for: Lay

[n] a narrative poem of popular origin
[n] a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
[adj] not of or from a profession; "a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease"
[adj] concerning those not members of the clergy; "set his collar in laic rather than clerical position"; "the lay ministry"; "the choir sings both sacred and secular music"
[v] put into a certain place or abstract location; "Put your things here"; "Set the tray down"; "Set the dogs on the scent of the missing children"; "Place emphasis on a certain point"
[v] put in a horizontal position; "lay the books on the table"; "lay the patient carefully onto the bed"
[v] lay eggs; of female animals; "This hen doesn't lay"
[v] prepare or position for action or operation; "lay a fire"; "lay the foundation for a new health care plan"
[v] impose as a duty, burden, or punishment; "lay a responsibility on someone"

Webster (1913) Definition: Lay, imp.
of Lie, to recline.

Lay, a. [F. lai, L. laicus, Gr. ? of or from the people,
lay, from ?, ?, people. Cf. Laic.]
1. Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the
clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.

2. Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.[Obs.]

3. Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular
profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding
the nature of a disease.

Lay baptism (Eccl.), baptism administered by a lay person.
--F. G. Lee.

Lay brother (R. C. Ch.), one received into a convent of
monks under the three vows, but not in holy orders.

Lay clerk (Eccl.), a layman who leads the responses of the
congregation, etc., in the church service. --Hook.

Lay days (Com.), time allowed in a charter party for taking
in and discharging cargo. --McElrath.

Lay elder. See 2d Elder, 3, note.

Lay, n.
The laity; the common people. [Obs.]

The learned have no more privilege than the lay. --B.

Lay, n.
A meadow. See Lea. [Obs.] --Dryden.

Lay, n. [OF. lei faith, law, F. loi law. See Legal.]
1. Faith; creed; religious profession. [Obs.]

Of the sect to which that he was born He kept his
lay, to which that he was sworn. --Chaucer.

2. A law. [Obs.] ``Many goodly lays.'' --Spenser.

3. An obligation; a vow. [Obs.]

They bound themselves by a sacred lay and oath. --

Lay, a. [OF. lai, lais, prob. of Celtic origin; cf. Ir.
laoi, laoidh, song, poem, OIr. laoidh poem, verse; but cf.
also AS. l[=a]c play, sport, G. leich a sort of poem (cf.
Lake to sport). ?.]
1. A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad. --Spenser. Sir W.

2. A melody; any musical utterance.

The throstle cock made eke his lay. --Chaucer.

Lay, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Laid; p. pr. & vb. n.
Laying.] [OE. leggen, AS. lecgan, causative, fr. licgan to
lie; akin to D. leggen, G. legen, Icel. leggja, Goth. lagjan.
See Lie to be prostrate.]
1. To cause to lie down, to be prostrate, or to lie against
something; to put or set down; to deposit; as, to lay a
book on the table; to lay a body in the grave; a shower
lays the dust.

A stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the
den. --Dan. vi. 17.

Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid. --Milton.

2. To place in position; to establish firmly; to arrange with
regularity; to dispose in ranks or tiers; as, to lay a
corner stone; to lay bricks in a wall; to lay the covers
on a table.

3. To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to
lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan.

4. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.

5. To cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to
exorcise, as an evil spirit.

After a tempest when the winds are laid. --Waller.

6. To cause to lie dead or dying.

Brave C[ae]neus laid Ortygius on the plain, The
victor C[ae]neus was by Turnus slain. --Dryden.

7. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.

I dare lay mine honor He will remain so. --Shak.

8. To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.

9. To apply; to put.

She layeth her hands to the spindle. --Prov. xxxi.

10. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to
assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on land.

The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
--Is. Iiii. 6.

11. To impute; to charge; to allege.

God layeth not folly to them. --Job xxiv.

Lay the fault on us. --Shak.

12. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on

13. To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a
particular county; to lay a scheme before one.

14. (Law) To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.

15. (Mil.) To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.

16. (Rope Making) To put the strands of (a rope, a cable,
etc.) in their proper places and twist or unite them; as,
to lay a cable or rope.

17. (Print.)
(a) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the
imposing stone.
(b) To place (new type) properly in the cases.

To lay asleep, to put sleep; to make unobservant or
careless. --Bacon.

To lay bare, to make bare; to strip.

And laid those proud roofs bare to summer's rain.

To lay before, to present to; to submit for consideration;
as, the papers are laid before Congress.

To lay by.
(a) To save.
(b) To discard.

Let brave spirits . . . not be laid by.

To lay by the heels, to put in the stocks. --Shak.

To lay down.
(a) To stake as a wager.
(b) To yield; to relinquish; to surrender; as, to lay
down one's life; to lay down one's arms.
(c) To assert or advance, as a proposition or principle.

To lay forth.
(a) To extend at length; (reflexively) to exert one's
self; to expatiate. [Obs.]
(b) To lay out (as a corpse). [Obs.] --Shak.

To lay hands on, to seize.

To lay hands on one's self, or {To lay violent hands on
one's self}, to injure one's self; specif., to commit

To lay heads together, to consult.

To lay hold of, or To lay hold on, to seize; to catch.

To lay in, to store; to provide.

To lay it on, to apply without stint. --Shak.

To lay on, to apply with force; to inflict; as, to lay on

To lay on load, to lay on blows; to strike violently. [Obs.
or Archaic]

To lay one's self out, to strive earnestly.

No selfish man will be concerned to lay out himself
for the good of his country. --Smalridge.

To lay one's self open to, to expose one's self to, as to
an accusation.

To lay open, to open; to uncover; to expose; to reveal.

To lay over, to spread over; to cover.

To lay out.
(a) To expend. --Macaulay.
(b) To display; to discover.
(c) To plan in detail; to arrange; as, to lay out a
(d) To prepare for burial; as, to lay out a corpse.
(e) To exert; as, to lay out all one's strength.

To lay siege to.
(a) To besiege; to encompass with an army.
(b) To beset pertinaciously.

To lay the course (Naut.), to sail toward the port intended
without jibing.

To lay the land (Naut.), to cause it to disappear below the
horizon, by sailing away from it.

To lay to
(a) To charge upon; to impute.
(b) To apply with vigor.
(c) To attack or harass. [Obs.] --Knolles.
(d) (Naut.) To check the motion of (a vessel) and cause
it to be stationary.

To lay to heart, to feel deeply; to consider earnestly.

To lay under, to subject to; as, to lay under obligation or

To lay unto.
(a) Same as To lay to (above).
(b) To put before. --Hos. xi. 4.

To lay up.
(a) To store; to reposit for future use.
(b) To confine; to disable.
(c) To dismantle, and retire from active service, as a

To lay wait for, to lie in ambush for.

To lay waste, to destroy; to make desolate; as, to lay
waste the land.

Syn: See Put, v. t., and the Note under 4th Lie.

Lay, v. i.
1. To produce and deposit eggs.

2. (Naut.) To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay
forward; to lay aloft.

3. To lay a wager; to bet.

To lay about, or To lay about one, to strike vigorously
in all directions. --J. H. Newman.

To lay at, to strike or strike at. --Spenser.

To lay for, to prepare to capture or assault; to lay wait
for. [Colloq.] --Bp Hall.

To lay in for, to make overtures for; to engage or secure
the possession of. [Obs.] ``I have laid in for these.''

To lay on, to strike; to beat; to attack. --Shak.

To lay out, to purpose; to plan; as, he lays out to make a

Lay, n.
1. That which lies or is laid or is conceived of as having
been laid or placed in its position; a row; a stratum; a
layer; as, a lay of stone or wood. --Addison.

A viol should have a lay of wire strings below.

Note: The lay of a rope is right-handed or left-handed
according to the hemp or strands are laid up. See
Lay, v. t., 16. The lay of land is its topographical
situation, esp. its slope and its surface features.

2. A wager. ``My fortunes against any lay worth naming.''

(a) A job, price, or profit. [Prov. Eng.] --Wright.
(b) A share of the proceeds or profits of an enterprise;
as, when a man ships for a whaling voyage, he agrees
for a certain lay. [U. S.]

4. (Textile Manuf.)
(a) A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea
(a) .
(b) The lathe of a loom. See Lathe, 3.

5. A plan; a scheme. [Slang] --Dickens.

Lay figure.
(a) A jointed model of the human body that may be put in
any attitude; -- used for showing the disposition of
drapery, etc.
(b) A mere puppet; one who serves the will of others
without independent volition.

Lay race, that part of a lay on which the shuttle travels
in weaving; -- called also shuttle race.

Synonyms: ballad, laic, nonprofessional, place, pose, position, profane, put, secular, set

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