lay down


laid down; laying down; lays down

transitive verb

: to give up : surrender
lay down your arms
: establish, prescribe
lay down a scale for a map
: to assert or command dogmatically
lay down the law
: store, preserve
laid down a young wine
: record
laying down songs for their new album
: to direct toward a target
lay down a barrage
: to hit along the ground
laid down a sacrifice bunt

intransitive verb

nonstandard : to lie down

Examples of lay down in a Sentence

the city council promises to lay down new ordinances that will force dog walkers to clean up after their animals at the risk of their popularity, the parents laid down the rules for the party and wouldn't accept any arguments
Recent Examples on the Web Azerbaijan launched a lightening offensive last week that defeated the ethnic Armenia authorities in the enclave within two days of fighting, prompting them to lay down their arms and agree to disband their military forces. Patrick Reevell, ABC News, 25 Sep. 2023 After Combs laid down his vocal tracks on the song, the idea of an entire collaborative project quickly followed, and Morgan co-produced the album with writer-producer Phil O’Donnell. Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 25 Sep. 2023 Whereas the 2020 ceasefire called on both sides to lay down their weapons, Wednesday’s agreement was far more comprehensive. Christian Edwards, CNN, 23 Sep. 2023 Testers laid down on the beds, weighted them down with sandbags, and evaluated their durability. Mandy Harris, Travel + Leisure, 19 Sep. 2023 But the issue of getting water to the fields is more difficult than simply laying down more pipes to bring groundwater, which is in increasingly short supply. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, 12 Sep. 2023 It was also revealed earlier this year that the Stones enlisted the Beatles’ Paul McCartney to play bass on at least one track, with the band laying down the album in a Los Angeles studio with producer Andrew Watt; however, rumors that Ringo Starr was also involved in the session were denied. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 2 Sep. 2023 Oil-and-gas companies have been laying down drilling rigs for much of 2023 as prices tumbled. David Uberti, WSJ, 15 Sep. 2023 To do so, the company contracted for the event screwed together two different layers of plywood and then laid down the regular court. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lay down.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lay down was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near lay down

Cite this Entry

“Lay down.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

lay down

: establish sense 1, prescribe
lay down standards
: to state or declare forcefully
lay down the law

More from Merriam-Webster on lay down

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