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


But off the stage we lay aside heroics, or how should we ever get on?

Do they take them and leave them at will, as we lay aside a habit or a mask?

Now, lay aside all those thoughts, Falder, and look to the future.

How can I lay aside my clergyman's cloak for the soldier's uniform?

The usual young woman, that is, if you lay aside her unusual beauty.

Now listen to me, Robert: you must lay aside your uniform, and return to college.

They are very unwilling, under any circumstances, to lay aside the natit.

Farewell, my child; and do not lay aside your resolution as hastily as you took it up.

Lay aside your mother's love-letters for a while and read her will instead.

He must lay aside his violin; he must put on his brocade coat and his lace ruffles.


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.