For all your dictionary needs!
Morphology. Are you looking for lie?
Header of lay


The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb lay:


Lay is sometimes a misspelling of lie.

The word lay is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

Video footage: Top view of turntable and vinyl record. looking a vinyl and record player from above. Flat lay background.
Play/pauseBuy footageFind more

Definition of the noun lay

What does lay mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: lays

  1. a narrative song with a recurrent refrain
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonym of lay: ballad
    • more generic words: song / vocal = a short musical composition with words
    • more specific word: minstrelsy = ballads sung by minstrels
  2. a narrative poem of popular origin
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonym of lay: ballad
    • more generic terms: poem / verse form = a composition written in metrical feet forming rhythmical lines
    • more specific word: 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

Alternative definition of the noun lay


  1. Arrangement or relationship; layout.
  2. The direction a rope is twisted.
  3. A casual sexual partner.
  4. A ballad or sung poem; a short poem or narrative, usually intended to be sung.

Definition of the adjective lay

What does lay mean as an attribute of a noun?

adjective - degrees: layer |

  1. characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy
  2. not of or from a profession
    • example: a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease
    • similar: nonprofessional

Alternative definition of the adjective lay


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

Definition of the verb lay

What does lay mean as a doing word?

Lay is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections:

simple pastpast participlepresent participlethird-person singular

  1. put into a certain place or abstract location
    • example: They lay the bags on the table
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Destination, locative adverb]Cheryl stood the books there
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Locative Preposition] [Destination]Cheryl stood the books on the shelf

      Verbs of Putting (with the same syntax): prop.

    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • synonyms of lay: place / pose / position / put / set
    • more generic words: displace / move = cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense
    • more specific terms:
      • introduce / stick in / enclose / inclose / insert / put in = place, fit, or thrust (something) into another thing
      • docket = place on the docket for legal action
      • cock = set the trigger of a firearm back for firing
      • postpose = place after another constituent in the sentence
      • prepose = place before another constituent in the sentence
      • step = place (a ship's mast) in its step
      • put back / replace = put something back where it belongs
      • stratify = form, arrange, or deposit in layers
      • plant = place something or someone in a certain position in order to secretly observe or deceive
      • intersperse = place at intervals in or among
      • snuggle / nestle = position comfortably
      • pile = place or lay as if in a pile
      • arrange / set up = put into a proper or systematic order
      • superimpose / superpose / lay over = place on top of
      • superpose = place (one geometric figure) upon another so that their perimeters coincide
      • park = place temporarily
      • ensconce / settle = fix firmly
      • dispose = place or put in a particular order
      • emplace = put into place or position
      • emplace = provide a new emplacement for guns
      • ship = place on board a ship
      • 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
      • sign = place signs, as along a road
      • middle = put in the middle
      • parallelize = place parallel to one another
      • butt = place end to end without overlapping
      • recess = put into a recess
      • reposition = place into another position
      • thrust / throw = place or put with great energy
      • tee up / tee = place on a tee
      • rack up = place in a rack
      • coffin = place into a coffin
      • bed = put to bed
      • appose = place side by side or in close proximity
      • place down / put down / set down = cause to sit or seat or be in a settled position or place
      • seed / sow = place (seeds) in or on the ground for future growth
      • misplace = place or position wrongly
      • juxtapose = place side by side
      • set down = put or settle into a position
      • bottle = put into bottles
      • bucket = put into a bucket
      • barrel = put in barrels
      • ground = place or put on the ground
      • pillow / rest = rest on or as if on a pillow
      • upend = set, turn, or stand on end
      • sit down / seat / sit = show to a seat
      • seat = place in or on a seat
      • put down / repose = put in a horizontal position
      • place upright / stand up / stand = put into an upright position
      • recline = cause to recline
      • plant / set = put or set (seeds, seedlings, or plants) into the ground
      • install / instal / put in / set up = set up for use
      • deposit / situate / posit / fix = put (something somewhere) firmly
      • ladle = put (a liquid) into a container by means of a ladle
      • poise = cause to be balanced or suspended
      • lean = cause to lean or incline
      • clap = put quickly or forcibly
      • rest = put something in a resting position, as for support or steadying
      • perch = cause to perch or sit
      • load = put (something) on a structure or conveyance
      • cram = put something somewhere so that the space is completely filled
      • set = put into a position that will restore a normal state
      • siphon = move a liquid from one container into another by means of a siphon or a siphoning action
      • seat = place or attach firmly in or on a base
      • position = cause to be in an appropriate place, state, or relation
      • glycerolise / glycerolize = place in glycerol
      • space = place at intervals
      • marshal = place in proper rank
      • settle down / settle = settle into a position, usually on a surface or ground
      • throw = to put into a state or activity hastily, suddenly, or carelessly
      • imbricate = place so as to overlap
  2. put in a horizontal position
  3. prepare or position for action or operation
  4. lay eggs
    • example: This hen doesn't lay
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • more generic terms: put down / repose = put in a horizontal position
    • more specific word: spawn = lay spawn
  5. impose as a duty, burden, or punishment
    • example: lay a responsibility on someone
    • lexical domain: Possession - verbs of buying, selling, owning
    • more generic words: impose / levy = impose and collect

Alternative definition of the verb lay


  1. [transitive] To place down in a position of rest.
  2. [transitive, archaic] To cause to subside or abate.
  3. [transitive] To leave something somewhere.
  4. [transitive] To prepare (a plan, project etc.); to set out, establish (a law, principle).
  5. [transitive] To install certain building materials, laying one thing on top of another.
  6. [transitive] To produce and deposit an egg.
  7. [transitive] To wager that an event will not take place.
  8. [transitive, slang] To have sex with.
  9. [simple past of lie, nodot=0] when pertaining to position.
  10. [proscribed] To be in a horizontal position; to lie.


  1. The Lay is a 120.3 km long river in the Vendée département, western France. Its source is at Saint-Pierre-du-Chemin. It flows generally southwest. It flows into the Bay of Biscay between La Faute-sur-Mer and L'Aiguillon-sur-Mer, 20 km northwest of La Rochelle.
    • also known as Lay River
  2. Lay a.k.a. Ladysmith Airport is an airport serving Ladysmith, a city in the KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.

There are other places with in their name, like Boon Lay, Ban Dak-Lay, Lay-Saint-Remy, Lay-Saint-Christophe and Saint-Symphorien-de-Lay.


  1. Lay a.k.a. Zhang Yixing is a member of the musical group, Exo-M.
  2. Lay a.k.a. Thomas Laybourn is a male badminton player from Denmark.

There are other people with in their name, like Fam-Lay, Jay Lay, Lay Low, Sam Lay, Bart Lay, Elzy Lay, Josh Lay, Khin Lay, Lay Phyu, Lore Lay and many others.


Lay is a fictional character from the 2007 action and comedy film The Three Cripples.


"Lay" is a musical album of Aphelion.

  • released in (7 years ago)


  1. Lay a.k.a. Kabalai Language is an human language.
  2. LAY is a website.
    • also known as Airport Code LAY, LAY Airport Code, Ladysmith Airport
  3. Lay a.k.a. Lama Language is an human language.
  4. Lay is a file format.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Lay

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewVerbal Advantage (2009)

Ten Easy Steps to a Powerful Vocabulary by Charles Harrington Elster

The adjective lay means nonprofessional, not belonging to a particular profession. A lay opinion of a legal case is an opinion from someone who is not a lawyer or a judge. A lay diagnosis of a disease is a diagnosis proffered by someone who ...

Google previewArthritis Research (2005)

Treatment and Management by Frank H. Columbus

The word 'lay refers to something that is not endorsed with formal authority in a particular situation, for example a 'lay' preacher is someone who is not formally ordained within a religious organisation. In relation to healthcare this refers to ...

Google previewOhio Historic Places Dictionary (2008)

by Editorial Staff, State History Publications, LLC

Noted locally as one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the village is the Samuel Lay House. It was owned by a family which contributed to the reputation of Olmsted Falls in invention, manufacturing, and public life.

Google previewSimiles Dictionary (2013)

by Elyse Sommer

Fixed as the garden in a wallpaper mural —Anon Frozen like dogs waiting at night for a bitch in heat —Bertolt Brecht Immobile as a heavily sprayed coiffure — Elyse Sommer Immobile as despair —Yvor Winters (Lay,) immobile, like something ...

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity, 2 Volume Set (2010)

by John Anthony McGuckin

LAY. PIETY,. THE. BROTHERHOODS,. AND. MONASTIC. REVIVAL. The religious needs of the majority of Orthodox Christians in Greece, from the time of independence to the present, have been met through the basic liturgical and ...

Google previewA Minecraft Mini-Encyclopedia (2014)

by Cori Dusmann

lay. of. the. land. Just like the real world, Minecraft has many types of land. The different areas are called biomes, and each has unique features, such as certain plants, ores, or landscapes. Minecraft biomes are mostly divided by climate ...

Google previewHeinemann English Dictionary (2001)

by Martin Manser

Phrase lay down the law to state one's opinions or wishes authoritatively. Word Family lawful adjective allowed by law; lawfully adverb; lawfulness noun; lawless adjective 1 regardless of law. 2 unrestrained; lawlessly adverb; lawlessness ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Lay

Click on a label to prioritize search results according to that topic:

Photos about Lay

Click on an item to view that photo:


View more pictures about Lay of the Land.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Yellow white and pink Ranunculus flowers and eucalyptus on the light blue background, flat lay with a blank space in the middleSmall photo of feminine home office workspace mockup with branches, golden pen, clips. flat lay, top viewSmall photo of Tropical palm leaves on pink background. Minimal nature summer concept. Flat lay.Small photo of feminine home office workspace mockup with branches, golden pen, clips and beige ribbon. flat lay, top viewSmall photo of woman trendy fashion clothes collage on white, flat lay, top viewSmall photo of empty wreath frame with roses, eucalyptus branches, leaves and spool with ribbon isolated on white background. flat lay, overhead viewSmall photo of Flat lay, top view office table desk frame. feminine desk workspace with laptop, clutch, cosmetics, phone, sunglasses, lipstick rose buds on white background. More...

Videos about Lay

Click on an item to play that video:

View more videos about Lay on, Lay Up, Lay Low, lay off, lay out, Boon Lay, lay away, Lay Down, lay into, Lay Claim, Lay Siege, Lay Rubber, Lay Preacher, and Lay the Pipe.

See also the pronunciation examples of Lay!

Quotes about Lay

Before marriage, a man declares that he would lay down his life to serve you after marriage, he won't even lay down his newspaper to talk to you. (Helen Rowland)
more quotes about lay...

Scrabble value of L1A1Y4

The value of this 3-letter word is 6 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of LAY

What do you get if you rearrange the letters?


What do you get if you reverse the order of the letters?

See also the index of semordnilaps!

Other anagrams

What do you get if you rearrange the letters in other ways?

See also the blanagrams of Lay!

Share this page


Go to the usage examples of Lay to see it in context!

Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy
Keyword Tool | Romanian-English Dictionary