lay on

verb
laid on; laying on; lays on

Definition of lay on

transitive verb

1a : to apply by or as if by spreading on a surface laying it on thick
b : provide, arrange food laid on in abundance
c : hand out laid on awards
2 chiefly British : hire

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for lay on

Synonyms

apply, lay, spread

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of lay on in a Sentence

she lays the butter on so thickly that you hardly taste the bagel lay on more staff for the busy tourist season in the Lake District

Recent Examples on the Web

So if adding more weight carrying capacity won’t work, maybe the answer lies on the other side of the equation—just carry less. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Overloaded Soldier: Why U.S. Infantry Now Carry More Weight Than Ever," 26 Dec. 2018 Images from the crash showed the helicopter lying on its side engulfed in flames. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Leicester City Club Owner, Four Others Died in Helicopter Crash," 28 Oct. 2018 The passenger bus involved in the accident experienced front-end damage, while a semi-truck was discovered lying on its side. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Blown tire may be cause of head-on crash that left at least 8 dead in New Mexico, officials say," 31 Aug. 2018 The hippo was missing one leg, lying on its side and caked in mud. Amanda Lee Myers, The Christian Science Monitor, "Mudslide survivors reconnected with treasured personal belongings months later," 17 Apr. 2018 Playing vocal tag with the eerie glass harmonica, lying on her back to sing a vocalise of erotic ecstasy, her voice bloomed with radiant allure, and Lucia was herself at last. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "Opera Philadelphia’s Festival O18 Review: Arias and Alzheimer’s," 28 Sep. 2018 Camden County police, responding to 911 calls, found Charles White lying on the street in the 2100 block of Jones Street at 10:39 p.m., authorities said. Andrew Seidman, Philly.com, "Camden man killed in shooting; no arrests made," 8 July 2018 Matthew Wenzler, 27, was reportedly lying on a Cleveland street across from a downtown casino in January. Michelle Andrews, Washington Post, "If You’ve Got Hep C, Spitting Can Be A Felony," 19 June 2018 Around the corner, a paramedic performed chest compressions on another person who was lying on the street. Madeline Buckley, chicagotribune.com, "4 shot on Near West Side: 'Don't kill my friend'," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lay on.' 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 lay on

1600, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lay on

Statistics for lay on

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lay on

The first known use of lay on was in 1600

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on lay on

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lay on

Comments on lay on

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!