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


We had no adequate methods of inspection of machines, and no laid-out course in flying-training.

Mrs. Roy was; and, by the appearance of the laid-out tea-table, she was probably expecting Roy to enter.

My very copper pocket-money I laid-out on stall-literature; which, as it accumulated, I with my own hands sewed into volumes.

I was allowed to wander all over the palace gardens, which are full of palms and great trees, and which resemble a laid-out wood.

A striking fact is that the houses apparently are not arranged in accordance with any laid-out plan or regularity.

There is never any laid-out track, but the circuit is determined in a general way by crosses cut in trees.

She had seen the laid-out table in the drawing-room then, just as she was looking down upon it now.


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.