overlay

verb
over·​lay | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlā \
overlaid\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈlād \; overlaying

Definition of overlay 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to lay or spread over or across : superimpose
b : to prepare an overlay for

overlay

noun
over·​lay | \ ˈō-vər-ˌlā \

Definition of overlay (Entry 2 of 2)

: a covering either permanent or temporary: such as
a : an ornamental veneer
b : a decorative and contrasting design or article placed on top of a plain one
c : a transparent sheet containing graphic matter to be superimposed on another sheet

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Synonyms for overlay

Synonyms: Verb

blanket, carpet, coat, cover, overlie, overspread, sheet

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Examples of overlay in a Sentence

Verb

you should apply a coat of primer first, and then overlay it with two coats of paint cedar shingles overlaying one another on the roof

Noun

a silver ring with gold overlay The wooden table has a marble overlay.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

For messaging, Google is adding a new feature that will preview a snippet of a new text overlaid over an existing app like the music playback or Google Maps apps, but only when the car has come to a complete stop. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Android Auto update makes playing music and messaging easier and less distracting," 29 Nov. 2018 The geospatial data is overlaid with administrative information—district boundaries and the like—to give a picture of what's really going on. Dan Rosenbaum, Ars Technica, "All hail the AI overlord: Smart cities and the AI Internet of Things," 7 Dec. 2018 Edward Cella Art & Architecture The posters feature a photo of a Fuller invention—the Dymaxion Car, Geodesic Dome, and a Tensile-Integrity Structure, for example—overlaid with an illustration of the concept. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Buckminster Fuller made fancy posters for his greatest inventions," 6 Sep. 2018 My doctor’s stethoscope missed the symptoms of my reality, including persistent anxiety, and a cavernous loneliness that overlaid my organs. Laura Zera, New York Times, "No One Helped My Mentally Ill Mother, or Me," 22 June 2018 Google may also unveil updates to its Android mobile operating system, enable better AI-powered navigation suggestions in Google Maps, and push further into augmented reality technology, which overlays a view of the real world with digital images. Washington Post, "Google to showcase AI advances at its big conference," 8 May 2018 Gina Adams, a Native-American artist based in Kansas, takes antique quilts and overlays them with texts from actual historical treaties – mostly broken. George Fishman, miamiherald, "Monarchs ‘Brown and Native’ butterfly exhibit a response to contemporary events," 13 July 2018 One added benefit of VR is the ability to overlay graphics onto real world situations. Jay Samit, Fortune, "How Virtual Reality Is Improving Trucker Safety for UPS and Other Suppliers," 11 Apr. 2018 In honoring that often-tragic passage, the artist has overlaid the flags’ simple stripes with paintings that represent poetic celestial maps. George Fishman, miamiherald, "Monarchs ‘Brown and Native’ butterfly exhibit a response to contemporary events," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Several decades ago, a developer made the decision to save money by paving hundreds of miles of streets on the outskirts of Omaha with asphalt overlay instead of concrete, meaning the roads were never built to city standards. Lauren Matthews, Country Living, "Omaha, Nebraska Is Returning to Gravel Roads and Residents Are Not Happy," 15 Mar. 2017 Last week, the First Lady wore a black Dolce & Gabbana dress with baggy lace overlay to Thanksgiving dinner. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Melania Trump Wore Dolce & Gabbana After Their 'Racist' Chinese Ad Controversy," 27 Nov. 2018 The overlay will allow retail and loft-style apartments costing $1,200 to $1,600 monthly to rent, Ashley Commercial Group partner Jason Yeager said. Chris Mayhew, Cincinnati.com, "Villa Hills City Council has final vote on controversial development for nuns' retirement," 17 Jan. 2018 But the overlay also revealed the bandwidth sent over the server, which was very low when the scene remained fixed or was rotated slowly. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider over 5G, and it didn't suck," 11 Sep. 2018 So, the political overlay here has always been more consequential than the legal aspect of it. Fox News, "Scaramucci, McCarthy on if Cohen, Manafort cases hurt Trump," 21 Aug. 2018 Crews with Comanche of Georiga, LLC of Marietta will clean, paint, replace joints, and place a protective overlay to the driving surface of the bridge. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Roy Head Bridge in White County closed," 12 June 2018 Traffic jams can already be avoided thanks to the integration of traffic alerts and GPS navigation, and within two years, the navigation system will feature a Doppler radar overlay that will be able to route drivers around inclement weather. G.e. Anderson, Popular Mechanics, "Will Google Maps Win the Turn-by-Turn Nav War in Cars?," 28 June 2010 In honor of tonight's banquet at Buckingham Palace, Maxima wore a regal ombre blue dress with a sheer black overlay, and the magnificent Stuart tiara. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Queen Maxima Wore a Jaw-Dropping Tiara to the State Dinner Hosted by Queen Elizabeth," 23 Oct. 2018

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Learn More about overlay

Dictionary Entries near overlay

overlarge

overlavish

overlaw

overlay

overlayer

overleaf

overleap

Statistics for overlay

Last Updated

13 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for overlay

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

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More Definitions for overlay

overlay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of overlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to cover (something) with a layer of another material

overlay

noun

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

: material that covers the complete surface or part of the surface of something and that changes its appearance

: a transparent sheet with information or pictures on it that is placed on top of another sheet to change what is being shown

overlay

verb
over·​lay | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlā \
overlaid\ -​ˈlād \; overlaying

Kids Definition of overlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to lay or spread over or across The table top is overlaid with ceramic tiles.

overlay

noun
over·​lay | \ ˈō-vər-ˌlā \

Kids Definition of overlay (Entry 2 of 2)

: a usually thin covering that is laid over or across something The silver ring has gold overlay.

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More from Merriam-Webster on overlay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overlay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overlay

Spanish Central: Translation of overlay

Nglish: Translation of overlay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of overlay for Arabic Speakers

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