Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


His body was laid away in the grave, where our bodies shall decay.

The infant Mike had been stuffed with rice and milk and laid away to slumber.

These, however, I laid away in my drawer, saying nothing about them to any one.

It was laid away in a chest with the chessmen, ready to receive the picture.

The slates were not laid away carefully, or they were not clean, so that the writing is not distinct.

So the little poem was folded up and laid away for another year.

I've got the last suit of moleskin I ever worked in laid away.

It had been laid away with tears, now it was taken out with smiles.

And'll have graveyards to 'em—folks must be laid away somewhere.

It was a sin like the finery she had longed for and bought and laid away.


Old English lecgan "to place on the ground (or other surface)," also "put down (often by striking)," from Proto-Germanic *lagjanan (cf. Old Saxon leggian, Old Norse leggja, Old Frisian ledza, Middle Dutch legghan, Dutch leggen, Old High German lecken, German legen, Gothic lagjan "to lay, put, place"), causative of lie (v.2). As a noun, from 1550s, "act of laying." Meaning "way in which something is laid" (e.g. lay of the land) first recorded 1819.

Meaning "have sex with" first recorded 1934, in U.S. slang, probably from sense of "deposit" (which was in Old English, as in lay an egg, lay a bet, etc.), perhaps reinforced by to lie with, a phrase frequently met in the Bible. The noun meaning "woman available for sexual intercourse" is attested from 1930, but there are suggestions of it in stage puns from as far back as 1767. To lay for (someone) "await a chance at revenge" is from late 15c.; lay low "stay inconspicuous" is from 1839. To lay (someone) low preserves the secondary Old English sense.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.