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Definition of lay:

  1. A job, price, or profit.
  2. A law.
  3. A meadow. See Lea.
  4. A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea ( a).
  5. A melody; any musical utterance.
  6. A plan; a scheme.
  7. 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.
  8. A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad.
  9. A wager.
  10. An obligation; a vow.
  11. Faith; creed; religious profession.
  12. Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease.
  13. Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
  14. of Lie, to recline.
  15. of Lie, v. i.
  16. Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.
  17. 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.
  18. The laity; the common people.
  19. The lathe of a loom. See Lathe, 3.
  20. To apply; to put.
  21. To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs.
  22. To cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise, as an evil spirit.
  23. To cause to lie dead or dying.
  24. 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.
  25. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.
  26. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on land.
  27. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
  28. To impute; to charge; to allege.
  29. To lay a wager; to bet.
  30. To place ( new type) properly in the cases.
  31. To place and arrange ( pages) for a form upon the imposing stone.
  32. 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.
  33. To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun.
  34. To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan.
  35. To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one.
  36. To produce and deposit eggs.
  37. 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.
  38. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
  39. To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue.
  40. To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft.


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