(noun, adjective, verb)


1. characteristic of those who are not members of the clergy

- the lay ministry

Similar word(s): profane, secular, laic, secular

2. not of or from a profession

- a lay opinion as to the cause of the disease

Similar word(s): nonprofessional

Sentences with lay as an adjective:

- They seemed more lay than clerical.

- a lay preacher; a lay brother


1. a narrative song with a recurrent refrain

Similar word(s): ballad

Definition categories: communication, song, vocal

2. a narrative poem of popular origin

Similar word(s): ballad

Definition categories: communication, poem

Sentences with lay as a noun:

- the lay of the land

- Worm and parcel with the lay; turn and serve the other way.

- What was I, just another lay you can toss aside as you go on to your next conquest?


1. put into a certain place or abstract location

Similar word(s): place, pose, position, put, set

Definition categories: contact, displace, move

2. put in a horizontal position

- lay the books on the table

- lay the patient carefully onto the bed

Similar word(s): repose

Definition categories: contact, lay, place, pose, position, put, set

3. prepare or position for action or operation

- lay a fire

- lay the foundation for a new health care plan

Definition categories: creation, devise, machinate, organise, organize, prepare

4. lay eggs

- This hen doesn't lay

Definition categories: contact, lay, repose

5. impose as a duty, burden, or punishment

- lay a responsibility on someone

Definition categories: possession, impose, levy

Sentences with lay as a verb:

- to lay a book on the table;

- A shower of rain lays the dust.

- lay brick;

- I'll lay that he doesn't turn up on Monday.

- to lay forward;

- to lay a gun

- to lay a cable or rope

- to lay a tax on land

- to lay an indictment in a particular county;

- The baby lay in its crib and slept silently.