inlay

verb
in·lay | \(ˌ)in-ˈlā, ˈin-ˌlā \
inlaid\(ˌ)in-ˈlād, 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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Image Mayan tooth inlaid with jade This example dates from A.D. 500 to 1000 and is a good example of the Mayan skill at drilling holes in teeth, presumably without touching the gum, and setting in precious stones. Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, "This Exhibition Has Real Bite," 7 June 2018 Delicate floral designs inlaid with semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone, jasper and mother-of-pearl, decorate a variety of marbles and contrast with the more traditional geometric ceramic details. Jim Berleley, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Dubai," 5 Oct. 2016 Her playful fine jewelry (inlaid with turquoise and pearl) fuses her northern background with her adopted home’s cosmopolitan verve. Mosha Lundström Halbert, Vogue, "The Latina Cool Girl’s Guide to Mexico City," 4 June 2018 There is the 3-foot-high, peacock-feather gear for battling flies, inlaid with diamonds and set with bands of gold tinsel, presented to the prince on his official entry into Jaipur. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "Souvenirs of a Prince’s Passage to India," 18 May 2018 Over-the-top design—like, say, tables and globes inlaid with the sacred geometry of the universe—is used only to further the shop’s wow factor. Cam Wolf, GQ, "James Harden Owns the Iciest Watch You've Ever Seen," 30 Apr. 2018 Patina earrings accented with turquoise chips and Tibetan amber inlaid with brass; $15. Vanessa Infanzon, charlotteobserver, "CLT Made: MADDJewels," 13 Apr. 2018 Our fabrics are inlaid in the resin, but they can be surfed on too. Katy Schneider, The Cut, "Teyana Taylor’s Nail Salon, a New Gym From Chelsea Piers, and High-Design Seder Plates," 18 Mar. 2018 The use of four circles surrounding a central circle, all richly inlaid, was the trademark design of the Cosmati family, Roman artisans who worked for the pope. Andrew Lawler, Smithsonian, "A Crusader-Era High Altar Resurfaces in Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher," 16 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Australian/New Zealand box art will have a double-sided inlay, according to Basketball Australia. Nick Tricome, Philly.com, "Sixers' Ben Simmons will be on NBA 2K19 cover … in Australia," 5 July 2018 Aside from its stables, Chantilly is also known for its lace production, and lashings appeared throughout the collection as graphic inlays, dense ruffles and skirt pleats. Elizabeth Paton, New York Times, "A Woman’s Rodeo, Designed by Dior," 26 May 2018 The touches added by Elvis include gold-tone hardware, custom woodwork and inlays, red velvet seats and red shag carpet. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "You can now bid to buy Elvis Presley's private jet; sold 'as is'," 22 June 2018 Resin terrazzo can’t be used outdoors, though, says Krause—that’s why large floors still tend to be concrete-based, and have brass inlays that create breathing space to prevent crazing and cracking. Jessica Furseth, Curbed, "How terrazzo made a comeback," 13 June 2018 Bone inlay furniture and handmade mirrors fill out the floor plan. Jack Flemming, latimes.com, "Hot Property: Joey McIntyre bids adieu to his familiar L.A. block," 9 June 2018 There literally isn’t a single surface that isn’t covered with gilding, or cheetah, or inlay, or bric-a-brac. Sadie Stein, ELLE Decor, "In Defense of Maximalism," 23 May 2018 Sherman Samuel suggested a Pink Marble pattern from her Lulu & Georgia wallpaper collection for the more intimate glassed-in showroom, with flooring that's a vinyl decal from Atrafloor but looks like stone and brass inlay from a distance. Jessica Ritz, latimes.com, "A DTLA jewelry designer's studio and showroom get a shining makeover," 26 May 2018 French doors lead to a formal dining room with cherry inlays in the hardwoods. Jon Gorey, BostonGlobe.com, "For sale: Homes with water features in Hopkinton and Boxford," 25 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of inlay

Verb

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1667, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about inlay

Statistics for inlay

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for inlay

The first known use of inlay was in 1596

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
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 \

Kids Definition of inlay (Entry 2 of 2)

: inlaid work : material used in inlaying

inlay

noun
in·lay | \ˈin-ˌlā \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on inlay

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

WORD OF THE DAY

evasion of direct action or statement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!