1 of 2


lay·​away ˈlā-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce layaway (audio)
: a purchasing agreement by which a retailer agrees to hold merchandise secured by a deposit until the price is paid in full by the customer

lay away

2 of 2


laid away; laying away; lays away

transitive verb

: to put aside for future use or delivery

Examples of layaway in a Sentence

Noun We bought the table and chairs on layaway, so we won't have them until December. The store offers a layaway plan for large purchases. Verb the weather forecast warned of a severe storm, so we laid away a generous supply of bottled water and canned food just in case
Recent Examples on the Web
And unlike layaway, shoppers get their purchases immediately. Nancy Chen, CBS News, 26 Jan. 2023 Americans have used layaway programs since the Great Depression. Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2023 Putting a banh mi on layaway—this is the world that buy-now, pay-later programs have wrought. Mac Schwerin, The Atlantic, 10 Jan. 2023 Retailers, for their part, created the layaway plan, which allowed consumers to reserve a product in return for a down payment, with further payments made throughout the year. Jay L. Zagorsky, The Conversation, 14 Dec. 2022 Layaway still around?:What stores will offer layaway this holiday shopping season? Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, 24 Nov. 2022 At the advice of their wedding planner, Annie Lee of Daughter of Design in Miami Beach, the couple decided to put their nuptials on layaway, so to speak, by using the financial services platform Maroo. Stephanie Cain, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2022 Klarna pioneered a digital rebrand of layaway plans, which allow shoppers to spread the cost of purchases over weeks or months, as buy now, pay later. Iain Martin, Forbes, 28 May 2022 Just a couple weeks ago, a box full of several pairs of cleats showed up unannounced at Westwood, compliments of Mack, who also has done things such as pay off all the layaway bills at the local Walmart around Christmastime. Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022
Yet, despite the tannins, Freisa is not a wine to lay away in most examples, but rather one that should be enjoyed early on, often chilled, with soups, seafood or lighter meats. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'layaway.' 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


1944, in the meaning defined above


circa 1928, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of layaway was circa 1928

Dictionary Entries Near layaway

Cite this Entry

“Layaway.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
lay·​away ˈlā-ə-ˌwā How to pronounce layaway (audio)
: a purchasing agreement by which a seller agrees to hold merchandise on which a deposit has been made until the price is paid in full by the buyer

lay away

2 of 2 verb
: to put aside for future use or delivery
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