English dictionary

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English adjective: lay

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

SamplesSet his collar in laic rather than clerical position.
The lay ministry.

Synonymslaic, secular

Similarprofane, secular


2. lay not of or from a profession

SamplesA lay opinion as to the cause of the disease.



English noun: lay

1. lay (communication) a narrative song with a recurrent refrain


Broader (hypernym)song, vocal

Narrower (hyponym)minstrelsy

2. lay (communication) a narrative poem of popular origin


Broader (hypernym)poem, verse form

Narrower (hyponym)Edda

English verb: lay

1. lay (contact) put into a certain place or abstract location

SamplesPut your things here.
Set the tray down.
Set the dogs on the scent of the missing children.
Place emphasis on a certain point.

ExamplesThey lay the bags on the table

Synonymsplace, pose, position, put, set

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something PP

Broader (hypernym)displace, move

Narrower (hyponym)appose, arrange, barrel, bed, bottle, bucket, butt, clap, cock, coffin, cram, deposit, dispose, docket, emplace, emplace, enclose, ensconce, fix, glycerolise, glycerolize, ground, imbricate, inclose, insert, instal, install, intersperse, introduce, jar, juxtapose, ladle, lay, lay over, lean, load, lose, marshal, middle, mislay, misplace, misplace, nestle, parallelize, park, perch, pigeonhole, pile, pillow, place down, place upright, plant, plant, poise, posit, position, postpose, prepose, put back, put down, put down, put in, put in, rack up, recess, recline, replace, repose, repose, reposition, rest, rest, seat, seat, seat, seed, set, set, set down, set down, set up, set up, settle, settle, settle down, shelve, ship, sign, siphon, sit, sit down, situate, snuggle, sow, space, stand, stand up, step, stick in, stratify, superimpose, superpose, superpose, tee, tee up, throw, throw, thrust, trench, underlay, upend

2. lay (contact) put in a horizontal position

SamplesLay the books on the table.
Lay the patient carefully onto the bed.

Synonymsput down, repose

Pattern of useSomebody ----s somebody PP.
Somebody ----s something PP

Broader (hypernym)lay, place, pose, position, put, set

Narrower (hyponym)blow, bury, entomb, inhume, inter, lay, lay to rest, rail, rebury


3. lay (creation) prepare or position for action or operation

SamplesLay a fire.
Lay the foundation for a new health care plan.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)devise, get up, machinate, organise, organize, prepare

4. lay (contact) lay eggs

SamplesThis hen doesn't lay.

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Broader (hypernym)lay, put down, repose

Narrower (hyponym)spawn

5. lay (possession) impose as a duty, burden, or punishment

SamplesLay a responsibility on someone.

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something.
Somebody ----s something PP

Broader (hypernym)impose, levy

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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