lay·​er | \ ˈlā-ər How to pronounce layer (audio) , ˈler \

Definition of layer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one that lays something (such as a worker who lays brick or a hen that lays eggs)
2a : one thickness, course, or fold laid or lying over or under another
b : stratum
3a : a branch or shoot of a plant that roots while still attached to the parent plant
b : a plant developed by layering


layered; layering; layers

Definition of layer (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to propagate (a plant) by means of layers
2a : to place as a layer
b : to place a layer on top of pancakes layered with butter and syrup
c : to form or arrange in layers

intransitive verb

1a : to separate into layers
b : to form out of superimposed layers
2 of a plant : to form roots where a stem comes in contact with the ground

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Other Words from layer


layered \ ˈlā-​ərd How to pronounce layer (audio) , ˈlerd \ adjective

Examples of layer in a Sentence

Noun Everything was covered by a thin layer of sand. The top layer of the rug is badly worn but the bottom layer is still OK. The cake has three layers. She glued together several layers of paper. He was wearing several layers of clothing. rocks that formed in layers from flows of lava Verb We layered the fruit with whipped cream and served it with cookies.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With this book, Feld uncovers another layer in his mission and approach to democratizing entrepreneurship all over the world. Eyal Bino, Forbes, 8 June 2021 As Scott marches down the street in the flashback to the night of the book advance, the show drops to another layer of flashback to Scott as a child. Brian Tallerico, Vulture, 4 June 2021 The incident involving Kemontae Hobbs added another layer of concern. Paul Gattis |, al, 3 June 2021 That’s another layer of potential workers that was disrupted last year, Slijk said. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, 31 May 2021 But, for those of us looking toward our days off, discerning the lesson from the inconvenience feels like another layer of labor. Gala Mukomolova,, 31 May 2021 The weekend's carnage added another layer of trauma to a community reeling from the shooting of three children on Minneapolis' North Side. Mara Klecker, Star Tribune, 24 May 2021 Seeing that beautiful venue empty of an audience was actually quite somber, so getting to share the stage injected another layer of life into the show. Patrick Ryan, USA Today, 22 May 2021 Every day seems to bring another layer to the chaos. Gary Markle,, 20 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Don’t forget to layer up — the temperature in the fissure can be up to 20 degrees cooler than ground temperature. oregonlive, 3 June 2021 To make your own, layer burrata with your favorite in-season fruits and veggies on a rectangular serving board ($20, Target). Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 May 2021 Roll up the sleeves and layer up Sande’s LÉO Tiger Shell range, and finish the look with the Loro Piana Inside Out Clutch. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 11 May 2021 Come winter, layer up and toss on the waders to have a comfortable day, even in icy water. Outdoor Life, 22 Mar. 2021 Instead, protect your stuff from the damp, choose gear wisely, layer up, and don’t let the thermometer readings frighten you out of enjoying the season. Alisha Mcdarris, Popular Science, 12 Dec. 2019 Ultralip is a breeze to apply, easy to layer, and changed my mood in seconds. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 27 May 2021 Fireworks setting and baguette-cut stones, and will stack and layer perfectly with other pieces. Kristen Shirley, Forbes, 5 Apr. 2021 What inspired you to layer those sections into the story? Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 10 May 2021

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1832, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Time Traveler for layer

Time Traveler

The first known use of layer was in the 13th century

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Statistics for layer

Last Updated

10 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Layer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for layer



English Language Learners Definition of layer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an amount of something that is spread over an area
: a covering piece of material or a part that lies over or under another
: a bird that lays eggs



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

: to form or arrange parts or pieces of something on top of each other : to form or arrange (something) in layers


lay·​er | \ ˈlā-ər How to pronounce layer (audio) \

Kids Definition of layer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one thickness of something laid over another a layer of rock
2 : a person who lays something
3 : a bird that lays eggs


layered; layering

Kids Definition of layer (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form or arrange one thickness of something over another We layered the fruit with whipped cream.


lay·​er | \ ˈlā-ər, ˈle(-ə)r How to pronounce layer (audio) \

Medical Definition of layer

1 : one thickness, course, or fold laid or lying over or under another
2 : stratum sense 1 the outer layers of the skin

Other Words from layer

layer verb

More from Merriam-Webster on layer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for layer

Nglish: Translation of layer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of layer for Arabic Speakers


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