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.
2. A law. [Obs.] "Many goodly
3. An obligation; a vow. [Obs.]
They bound themselves by a sacred lay and
Lay (?), imp. of Lie, to
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;
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
The learned have no more privilege than the
lay. B. Jonson.
Lay, n. A meadow. See
Lea. [Obs.] Dryden.
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
☞ 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."
3. (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.
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]
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
Lay (?), a. [OF. lai,
lais, prob. of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. laoi,
laoidh, song, poem, OIr. laoidh poem, verse; but cf.
also AS. lāc 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 (lā), v. t. [imp. &
p. p. Laid (lād); 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
A stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of
the den. Dan. vi. 17.
Soft on the flowery herb I found me
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
6. To cause to lie dead or dying.
Brave Cæneus laid Ortygius on the
The victor Cæneus was by Turnus slain.
7. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to
I dare lay mine honor Shak.
He will remain so.
8. To bring forth and deposit; as, to
9. To apply; to put.
She layeth her hands to the
spindle. Prov. xxxi. 19.
10. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or
punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on
The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us
all. Is. liii. 6.
11. To impute; to charge; to
God layeth not folly to them.
Job xxiv. 12.
Lay the fault on us.
12. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to
lay commands on one.
13. To present or offer; as, to lay an
indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before
14. (Law) To state; to allege; as, to
lay the venue. Bouvier.
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
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. Byron.
-- 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
-- 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 suicide. -- 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 blows.
-- 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.
-- 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 garden. (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 restraint. -- 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 ship. -- 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." Dryden. -- To lay
on, to strike; to beat; to attack. Shak. --
To lay out, to purpose; to plan; as, he lays
out to make a journey.