inlay

verb
in·​lay | \ (ˌ)in-ˈlā How to pronounce inlay (audio) , ˈin-ˌlā How to pronounce inlay (audio) \
inlaid\ (ˌ)in-​ˈlād How to pronounce inlay (audio) , ˈin-​ˌlād \; inlaying

Definition of inlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to set into a surface or ground material
b : to adorn with insertions
c : to insert (something, such as a color plate) into a mat or other reinforcement
2 : to rub, beat, or fuse (something, such as wire) into an incision in metal, wood, or stone

inlay

noun
in·​lay | \ ˈin-ˌlā How to pronounce inlay (audio) \

Definition of inlay (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : inlaid work or a decorative inlaid pattern
2 : a tooth filling shaped to fit a cavity and then cemented into place

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Other Words from inlay

Verb

inlayer noun

Examples of inlay in a Sentence

Noun The cabinet doors are decorated with inlays.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Today, the method is so well established that the museum’s dinosaur halls are organized according to evolutionary ties, and the cladistic trees are inlaid in the floor. John Schwartz, New York Times, "Norman Platnick, the ‘Real Spider-Man,’ Is Dead at 68," 17 Apr. 2020 The New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick, wearing a sweatshirt, sat in his home in Nantucket, at a dining table inlaid with a harlequin diamond pattern, and traded out of the first round. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "A Surprisingly Poignant N.F.L. Draft, Live from Various Basements," 24 Apr. 2020 Subtle and sculptural, the memorial glade features six stone pieces inlaid with steel salvaged trade center steel. Washington Post, "At 9/11 memorial, new recognition for a longer-term toll," 9 Sep. 2019 The drawing room, with a coffered ceiling and a fireplace inlaid with dark green marble, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Emily Nonko, WSJ, "House of the Year, Second Place: A Private Island Escape in South Carolina," 29 Jan. 2020 The triangle is especially important in this belief system, so several of Kerr's pieces feature it in unexpected ways—like a console with a faceted front, or a cabinet with mother of pearl inlaid in a subtle chevron. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Miranda Kerr's Debut Furniture Line Incorporates Sacred Geometry," 21 Oct. 2019 Needless to say, the pieces are much too pretty to use as anything but decor: Each one was hand-made in Agra, where a family of artisans employed by Shroff dutifully inlaid lapis lazuli, malachite, and other semi-precious stones. Marley Marius, Vogue, "Christian Louboutin, Olympia Le-Tan, and More Are Selling Beautiful, Handmade Plates for a Wonderful Cause," 20 Dec. 2019 Rice carved the surface of the bone into interweaving patterns of a turkey head, dogwood blossom and morels, then crushed and inlaid the turquoise. Colin Moore, Outdoor Life, "The 16 Most Awesome Turkey And Duck Calls You’ve Ever Seen," 19 Feb. 2020 Elsewhere, a rubber masked Donald Trump went as Vladimir Putin's date, and a couple dressed as a set of Japanese fairy tale characters, wearing head-to-toe robes inlaid with real yellow, pink, and white daisies. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Japan’s Kawasaki Parade Is a Serious Display of Halloween Spirit," 31 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For cooks, the kitchen offers high-end appliances, custom teak cabinetry with an ebony inlay and stainless accents, and Carrara marble counters. Jakob Menendez, BostonGlobe.com, "This Brutalist Rhode Island mansion is headed to auction," 9 Feb. 2021 The final bathroom features a gray floating vanity with a white porcelain counter, a ceramic tile floor, and a shower/tub combination with a gray ceramic tile surround and a marble inlay. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Home of the Week: A condo where you can park your car — and your inner child," 22 Jan. 2021 Typically treated as an inlay or accent, enamel is now in the spotlight with its vibrant hues and quirky shapes. Cassandra Hogan, Town & Country, "Make 2021 Sparkle with these 6 Jewelry Trends," 15 Jan. 2021 Along with a peacock motif in the front parlor and a dining room with zebra flooring, features include oak flooring with a detailed walnut inlay, ornate millwork, jeweled windows and 10-foot ceilings. Bob Goldsborough, chicagotribune.com, "Beautifully preserved Victorian-era Painted Lady in Wheaton lists for $880,000," 30 Dec. 2020 In the former elevator lobby that led into the Assembly Room, Urbain McGee designed a floor with a bold marble motif inlay that’s simultaneously modern and evocative of the building’s origins. Nancy Hass, New York Times, "A Cape Town Apartment That Speaks to the Past," 13 Nov. 2020 Handmade, thoughtful touches dot the space, from the daffodil yellow hand-tiling that Egghart helped design and inlay, to the custom cow print ceramic tip jar made by artists Bee Daddy & Sons with Scott Cooper. Emma Orlow, Bon Appétit, "In Philly, a New Clubhouse for Coffee, Samosas, and Mutual Aid," 22 Sep. 2020 The mosaic inlay was inspired by a Palladian villa. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Sarah Magness Makes a Long Island Home Feel Like a Tuscan Country Retreat," 15 Sep. 2020 The rear end trades a chrome spear between the taillights for a gloss-black one with a small chrome inlay, and there are new wheel designs. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 Honda Odyssey Delivers a Range of Smart Updates," 1 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inlay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of inlay

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for inlay

Cite this Entry

“Inlay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inlay. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for inlay

inlay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of inlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to set pieces of wood, metal, etc., into the surface of (something) for decoration

inlay

noun

English Language Learners Definition of inlay (Entry 2 of 2)

: material that is set into the surface of something for decoration : inlaid material

inlay

verb
in·​lay | \ ˈin-ˈlā How to pronounce inlay (audio) \
inlaid\ -​ˈlād \; inlaying

Kids Definition of inlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to set into a surface for decoration or strengthening

inlay

noun
in·​lay | \ ˈin-ˌlā How to pronounce inlay (audio) \

Kids Definition of inlay (Entry 2 of 2)

: inlaid work : material used in inlaying

inlay

noun
in·​lay | \ ˈin-ˌlā How to pronounce inlay (audio) \

Medical Definition of inlay

1 : a tooth filling shaped to fit a cavity and then cemented into place
2 : a piece of tissue (as bone) laid into the site of missing tissue to cover a defect

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