lay·up | \ ˈlā-ˌəp \

Definition of layup 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the action of laying up or the condition of being laid up

2 : a shot in basketball made from near the basket usually by playing the ball off the backboard

lay up


Definition of lay up (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to store up : lay by

2 : to disable or confine with illness or injury a knee injury laid him up for a week

3 : to take out of active service

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of layup in a Sentence


an eating disorder that would impel her to lay up candy bars in her closet for all-night food binges

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Going up for a layup, nobody fends off with his off-arm more powerfully and effectively than James. Scott Ostler,, "LeBron James scouting report: world-class traveler, actor — with a mean forearm," 13 June 2018 His second basket, a driving layup, came with 5:41 left in the quarter. Keith Pompey,, "Sixers fall in 0-3 playoff hole after losing to Celtics 101-98 in overtime," 5 May 2018 Smith, who had another layup to push the lead back to seven in the final minute, also led the Mavericks with eight assists and tied Kleber for the team high in rebounds with eight. Schuyler Dixon, star-telegram, "Smith highlight helps Mavs top playoff-bound Blazers 105-99 | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 3 Apr. 2018 Brigham Young guard Danny Ainge dribbled the length of the floor and his layup beat Notre Dame at the buzzer. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Thirty-seven consecutive Final Fours and counting, hoops are this group's bond," 31 Mar. 2018 The junior has never had anything quite like the experience of Saturday night after his putback layup at the buzzer gave the Tigers one of their biggest wins in the history of the boys basketball program. James Weber,, "Baugh's basket gives Beechwood historic win in All 'A' tourney," 20 Jan. 2018 Playing some of the first meaningful minutes of his NBA career in an April 3 win at Oklahoma City, Jones played solid defense on Steven Adams, ran the floor, threw down a couple dunks and blocked a Josh Huestis layup attempt. Connor Letourneau,, "Damian Jones: How Warriors center positioned himself for shot at rotation," 28 June 2018 LeBron James goes up for a layup against the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "Why LeBron James (Still) Trusts His Teammates," 6 June 2018 After Virginia made a foul shot, the shifty 5-foot-8, 140-pound Maura drove the lane for uncontested layup. Fox News, "No. 16 UMBC stuns No. 1 Virginia in NCAA upset," 17 Mar. 2018

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


1845, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about layup

Statistics for layup

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for layup

The first known use of layup was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for layup



English Language Learners Definition of layup

basketball : a shot made from a position that is very close to the basket

More from Merriam-Webster on layup

Nglish: Translation of layup for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about layup

Comments on layup

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


an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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