Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

lay

noun

Synonyms and Antonyms of lay

  1. 1 a rhythmic series of musical tones arranged to give a pleasing effect <the minstrel strummed a cheerful lay on his lute> Synonyms air, lay, song, strain, tune, warbleRelated Words descant (also discant); cadence, measure, meter, rhythm; ballad, ditty, hymn, lyric, madrigal

  2. 2 a short musical composition for the human voice often with instrumental accompaniment <she sang a short lay in dedication to her husband> Synonyms ballad, ditty, jingle, lay, lyric, vocalRelated Words anthem, cantata, canticle, carol, chorale, hymn, noel, psalm, spiritual; dirge, lament, requiem, threnody; hallelujah, paean; aria, art song, barcarole (or barcarolle), blues, chanson, chant, chantey (or chanty or shanty), chorus, croon, descant (also discant), folk song, glee, lullaby, madrigal, motet, part-song, pop, rocker, round, roundelay, serenade, standard; drinking song, fight song; torch song; cover, medley, remix




lay

noun

Synonyms and Antonyms of lay

  1. the activity by which one regularly makes a living <my main lay is as a general contractor, but I do side work as a carpenter> Synonyms calling, employment, game, lay, line, profession, trade, vocation, workRelated Words call, lifework; business, enterprise, field, livelihood, living, métier (also metier), racket [slang]; assignment, engagement, gig, mission; art, craft, handcraft, handicraft; appointment, berth, billet, office, place, position, post, situation; duty, function, job, load, task, workloadNear Antonyms avocation, hobby, pursuit




lay

verb

Synonyms and Antonyms of lay

  1. 1 to arrange something in a certain spot or position <just lay the book over there on the table for now> Synonyms depose, deposit, dispose, emplace, fix, place, position, put, set, set up, situate, stickRelated Words move, rearrange, reorder, shift; orient; establish, locate, plant, settle; clap, flop, plank, plop, plump, plunk (or plonk), plunk down, slap; ensconce, niche; assemble, collect; carry; berth, park; affix, anchor, lock, lodge, wedge; array, lay out, line up, queue, rank; set downNear Antonyms relocate, remove, take; banish; dislodge, displace, replace, supersede, supplant

  2. 2 to cause to come to rest at the bottom (as of a liquid) <the rain was just hard enough to lay the dust in the air> Synonyms settle, sedimentRelated Words filter, screen, sieve, sift, strain; clarify, clear; resettleNear Antonyms agitate, disturb, mix, stirAntonyms raise

  3. 3 to establish or apply as a charge or penalty <state officials tried to lay a tax on merchandise sold over the Internet> Synonyms assess, charge, exact, fine, impose, levy, putRelated Words dock, excise, mulct, penalize, tax; extort, shake down, wrest, wring; bleed, fleece, gouge, milk, skin, squeeze; coerce, compel, force; inflict, wreak; set; reapply, reimpose, relayNear Antonyms abate, diminish, lessen; forgive, release; condone, disregard, excuse, gloss (over), gloze (over), ignore, pardonAntonyms remit

  4. 4 to make ready in advance <she's laying plans for the charity auction months ahead of time> Synonyms fit, fix, groom, prepare, prep, readyRelated Words brace, fortify, gird, steel; batten, gather, gear up, mount; educate, indoctrinate, instruct, school, train, tutor; boot (up), prime; arrange, set, spread; arm, equip, forearm, furnish, outfit, provide, supply; incline, predispose; draft, draw up, frame; warm (up)

  5. 5 to put a layer of on a surface <the mason laid mortar over the first row of bricks before starting the second> Synonyms apply, spread, lay onRelated Words anoint, bedaub, besmear, dab, daub, plaster, slather, smear; blanket, carpet, coat, cover, layer, mantle, overlay, overlie, overspread, sheet, surfaceNear Antonyms bare, expose, peel, strip, uncover

  6. 6 to risk (something) on the outcome of an uncertain event <I'll lay five dollars that you can't do it> Synonyms gamble, go, bet, play, put, stake, wagerRelated Words bid, offer; adventure, chance, hazard, speculate, venture; endanger, imperil, jeopardize

  7. 7 to explain (something) as being the result of something else <an electrical fire that was laid to faulty wiring> Synonyms accredit, ascribe, attribute, chalk up, impute, credit, put downRelated Words blame, charge, father (on), impute (to), pin (on); assign, refer; associate, attach, connect, link

  8. 8 to place (a dead body) in the earth, a tomb, or the sea <lay the corpse to rest> Synonyms entomb, hearse, inhume, inter, bury, put away, tombRelated Words immure, inurn; enshrine; conceal, cover, ensconce, hide; obscure, shade, shield; cloak, curtain, enshroud, shroud; rebury, reinter; coffinNear Antonyms burn, cremate; bare, disclose, discover, display, exhibit, expose, reveal, show; uncoffinAntonyms disinter, exhume, unearth





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up lay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce soothe disapprove perplex
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ