1

lie

verb \ ˈlī \

Definition of lie

lay play \ˈlā\; lain play \ˈlān\; lying play \ˈlī-iŋ\
intransitive verb
1 a :to be or to stay at rest in a horizontal position :be prostrate :rest, recline
  • lie motionless
  • lie asleep
b :to assume a horizontal position often used with down
c archaic :to reside temporarily :stay for the night :lodge
d :to have sexual intercourse used with with
e :to remain inactive (as in concealment)
  • lie in wait
2 :to be in a helpless or defenseless state
  • the town lay at the mercy of the invaders
3 of an inanimate thing :to be or remain in a flat or horizontal position upon a broad support
  • books lying on the table
4 :to have direction :extend
  • the route lay to the west
5 a :to occupy a certain relative place or position
  • hills lie behind us
b :to have a place in relation to something else
  • the real reason lies deeper
c :to have an effect through mere presence, weight, or relative position
  • remorse lay heavily on him
d :to be sustainable or admissible
6 :to remain at anchor or becalmed
7 a :to have place :exist
  • the choice lay between fighting or surrendering
b :consist, belong
  • the success of the book lies in its direct style
  • responsibility lay with the adults
8 :remain; especially :to remain unused, unsought, or uncared for

lier

play \ˈlī(-ə)r\ verb
lie low
intransitive verb
1 :to lie prostrate, defeated, or disgraced
2 :to stay in hiding :strive to avoid notice
3 :to bide one's time :remain secretly ready for action

lay vs. lie

lay has been used intransitively in the sense of "lie"
    • lay down for a quick nap
since the 14th century. The practice was unremarked until around 1770; attempts to correct it have been a fixture of schoolbooks ever since. Generations of teachers and critics have succeeded in taming most literary and learned writing, but intransitive lay persists in familiar speech and is a bit more common in general prose than one might suspect. Much of the problem lies in the confusing similarity of the principal parts of the two words. Another influence may be a folk belief that lie is for people and lay is for things. Some commentators are ready to abandon the distinction, suggesting that lay is on the rise socially. But if it does rise to respectability, it is sure to do so slowly: many people have invested effort in learning to keep lie and lay distinct. Remember that even though many people do use lay for lie, others will judge you unfavorably if you do.


Origin and Etymology of lie

Middle English, from Old English licgan; akin to Old High German ligen to lie, Latin lectus bed, Greek lechos


2

lie

noun \ ˈlī \

Definition of lie

1 chiefly British :lay 6
2 :the position or situation in which something lies (see 1lie)
  • a golf ball in a difficult lie
3 :the haunt of an animal (such as a fish) :covert
4 British :an act or instance of lying or resting

Origin and Etymology of lie

see 1lie


3

lie

verb \ ˈlī \

Definition of lie

lied; lying play \ˈlī-iŋ\
intransitive verb
1 :to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
  • She was lying when she said she didn't break the vase.
  • He lied about his past experience.
2 :to create a false or misleading impression
  • Statistics sometimes lie.
  • The mirror never lies.
transitive verb
:to bring about by telling lies
  • He lied his way out of trouble.

Origin and Etymology of lie

Middle English, from Old English lēogan; akin to Old High German liogan to lie, Old Church Slavonic lŭgati

Synonym Discussion of lie

lie, prevaricate, equivocate, palter, fib mean to tell an untruth. lie is the blunt term, imputing dishonesty.
    • lied about where he had been
prevaricate softens the bluntness of lie by implying quibbling or confusing the issue.
    • during the hearings the witness did his best to prevaricate
equivocate implies using words having more than one sense so as to seem to say one thing but intend another.
    • equivocated endlessly in an attempt to mislead her inquisitors
palter implies making unreliable statements of fact or intention or insincere promises.
    • a swindler paltering with his investors
fib applies to a telling of a trivial untruth.
    • fibbed about the price of the new suit

4

lie

noun \ ˈlī \

Definition of lie

1 a :an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker or writer to be untrue with intent to deceive
  • He told a lie to avoid punishment.
b :an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker or writer
  • the lies we tell ourselves to feel better
  • historical records containing numerous lies
2 :something that misleads or deceives
  • His show of remorse was a lie.
3 :a charge of lying (see 3lie)

Origin and Etymology of lie

Middle English lige, lie, from Old English lyge; akin to Old High German lugī, Old English lēogan to lie


Lie

biographical name \ ˈlē \

Definition of Lie

Jonas 1833–1908 Norwegian novelist and dramatist

Lie

biographical name

Definition of Lie

Trygve Halvdan 1896–1968 Norwegian lawyer; secretary-general of U.N. (1946–52)

LIE Defined for Kids

1

lie

verb \ ˈlī \

Definition of lie for Students

lay \ˈlā\; lain \ˈlān\; lying \ˈlī-iŋ\
1 :to stretch out or be stretched out
  • He lay on the ground.
2 :to be spread flat so as to cover
  • There was snow lying on the fields.
3 :to be located or placed
  • Ohio lies east of Indiana.
4 :to be or stay
  • A key lies under the mat.

2

lie

verb

Definition of lie for Students

lied; lying
:to say something that is not true in order to deceive someone

3

lie

noun

Definition of lie for Students

:something said or done in the hope of deceiving :an untrue statement

Law Dictionary

lie

intransitive verb \ ˈlī \

legal Definition of lie

lay play \ˈlā\; lain play \ˈlān\; lying
:to be sustainable or capable of being maintained :have grounds under the law
  • holding that an action of battery would lie
  • Scott v. Bradford, 606 P.2d 554 (1979)
  • remedies for misrepresentation…will not lie for misstatements of opinion
  • —W. L. Prosser and W. P. Keeton
  • appeals from the Tax Court lie to the…Circuit Court
  • —D. Q. Posin
lie in grant
:to be transferable legally only by grant


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