1. Arrangement or relationship; layout.
    the lay of the land
  2. A share of the profits in a business.
  3. The direction a rope is twisted.
    Worm and parcel with the lay; turn and serve the other way.
  4. A casual sexual partner.
    What was I, just another lay you can toss aside as you go on to your next conquest?
  5. An act of sexual intercourse.

Noun (etymology 2)

  1. A lake.

Noun (etymology 3)

  1. A ballad or sung poem; a short poem or narrative, usually intended to be sung.
    1805 The Lay of the Last Minstrel, Sir Walter Scott.

Noun (etymology 4)

  1. A meadow; a lea.

Noun (etymology 5)

  1. A law.
  2. An obligation; a vow.


  1. To place down in a position of rest, or in a horizontal position.
    to lay a book on the table; to lay a body in the grave
    A shower of rain lays the dust.
    A corresponding intransitive version of this word is lie.
  2. To cause to subside or abate.
  3. To prepare (a plan, project etc.); to set out, establish (a law, principle).
  4. To install certain building materials, laying one thing on top of another.
  5. To produce and deposit an egg.
  6. To bet (that something is or is not the case).
    I'll lay that he doesn't turn up on Monday.
  7. To deposit (a stake) as a wager; to stake; to risk.
  8. To have sex with.
  9. to lie
  10. To take a position; to come or go.
  11. To state; to allege.
    to lay the venue
  12. To point; to aim.
    to lay a gun
  13. To put the strands of (a rope, a cable, etc.) in their proper places and twist or unite them.
    to lay a cable or rope
  14. To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
  15. To place (new type) properly in the cases.
  16. To apply; to put.
  17. To impose (a burden, punishment, command, tax, etc.).
    to lay a tax on land
  18. To impute; to charge; to allege.
  19. To present or offer.
    to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one

Verb (etymology 2)


  1. when pertaining to position.
    The baby lay in its crib and slept silently.
  2. To be in a horizontal position; to lie (from confusion with lie).


  1. Non-professional; not being a member of an organized institution.
  2. Not belonging to the clergy, but associated with them.
    They seemed more lay than clerical.

The above text is a snippet from Wiktionary: lay
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