1 place, put (down), set (down), position, deposit; spread:
Lay the cloth on the table, then lay the book on top of it.
2 set, arrange:
The table was laid for four.
3 Often, lay down. establish, build, construct:
Before I can argue my case, I must lay a firm foundation of trust.
4 stake, bet, wager, gamble, hazard, risk:
I'll lay ten to one that you won't be able to move that crate.
5 destroy, suppress, exorcize:
Did Edward ever succeed in laying that ghost of a rumour that haunted his career for so long?
6 present, offer, submit, set or put forth, advance, bring or put forward, set out:
We have laid our proposal before the board.
7 charge, impute, direct, lodge, prefer, aim, attribute, ascribe:
There is no justification for laying the blame on Leonard.
8 copulate (with), couple (with), have (sexual) intercourse (with), sleep (with), lie (with), bed, go to bed (with), mate (with), have sex (with), go all the way (with), service, Slang screw, shack up (with), Brit roger, Taboo fuck.
9 lay bare. expose, reveal, uncover, disclose, divulge, bring to light, show, unveil, lift the veil from:
She laid bare the most intimate details of their relationship.
10 lay down. stipulate, require, demand, insist on, dictate:
She laid down the conditions on which he could return home.
11 lay hold of. seize, grab, snatch, nab, catch or get hold of, get:
I have been trying to lay hold of that book for weeks.
12 lay in. See 19 (a), below.
13 lay into. attack, assault, set about, assail, lambaste, belabour:
We laid into the gang and gave them a sound drubbing.
14 lay it on. exaggerate, overstate, embroider:
Don't believe what Frank tells you - he really lays it on pretty thick sometimes
15 lay low. See 18 (c), below.
16 lay off.
(a) suspend; dismiss, discharge, fire, let go, cashier, drum out of the corps, Colloq (give the) sack, (give the) axe, kick out, (give the) boot, boot out, give (someone) his or her walking papers:
Fifty workers were laid off because business was slack.
(b) let up, quit (it), stop (it), cease, desist, leave off, leave alone, Colloq knock (it) off, cut (it) out, come off (it):
I wish you'd lay off for a while and stop bothering me. You must lay off phoning your mother twice a day
17 lay on.
(a) provide, cater (for), supply:
The company laid on quite a Christmas party.
(b) impose, charge, assess; demand, require:
In addition to enforcing payment of back taxes, they laid on a penalty of 20 per cent
18 lay out.
(a) design, plan, outline, sketch, arrange, set up:
The art department laid out the advertisements for the new campaign.
(b) advance, disburse, spend, expend, pay, give, contribute, Colloq shell out, ante up, kick in with, fork out:
The salesmen often lay out the money for their expenses and are then reimbursed.
(c) lay low, floor, prostrate, knock down or out, strike or cut down, flatten, fell, strike down, Colloq knock for six, kayo or K.O.:
He laid out the challenger with a blow to the solar plexus.
19 lay up.
(a) lay in, amass, accumulate, save (up), hoard, preserve, store, keep, put away, put by:
We laid up a supply of canned goods for the winter.
(b) hospitalize, incapacitate, disable, confine to bed, keep indoors:
She has been laid up with a virus all week.
1 secular, non-clerical, laic, non-ecclesiastical:
He served as a lay preacher for many years.
2 amateur, non-professional, non-specialist:
Members of the lay public did not immediately understand the dangers of the greenhouse effect.
ballad, song, air, refrain, strain, melody; poem, ode, lyric, rhyme, ballade:
Macaulay wrote a book entitled Lays of Ancient Rome .