overlay

verb
over·​lay | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlā How to pronounce overlay (audio) \
overlaid\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈlād How to pronounce overlay (audio) \; 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 How to pronounce overlay (audio) \

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

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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 Then the contractor will come and overlay the patch. Laurinda Joenks, Arkansas Online, "Springdale gets street smart with overlay program," 17 Feb. 2021 Fashion brands and apps are adding virtual try-on options for clothing, like the Zeekit app, which takes a photo of your body in a tank top and shorts to overlay virtual shirts and pants. Washington Post, "For Amazon’s $25 custom T-shirt, your body is a wonderland (of data)," 5 Jan. 2021 Reggae classics do not overlay these dramas but, rather, melt into them. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Sensuality and Brutality of Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe”," 23 Nov. 2020 The ability to take your everyday interaction with your cell phone and overlay it on reality. Kyle Stock, Bloomberg.com, "The British Company That’s Bringing Augmented Reality to Your Windshield," 19 Oct. 2020 The ability to actually overlay that information upon reality—to put the arrows on the place where you’re supposed to turn—is incredibly compelling. Kyle Stock, Bloomberg.com, "The British Company That’s Bringing Augmented Reality to Your Windshield," 19 Oct. 2020 The effects of the coronavirus frequently overlay a system in which growers have routinely failed to protect workers while on the job — offering them substandard transportation, housing and access to health care and testing, Kissam said. Washington Post, "Virus’s unseen hot zone: The American farm," 24 Sep. 2020 But the company has been working for years on a set of glasses or goggles that will overlay augmented reality elements on a user's field of view. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Apple’s ‘Time Flies’ event: 5 things to look for," 15 Sep. 2020 The $15 cake covers ($5 for the slice cover) contain sides that overlay and snap together, sealing the cake inside — and birthday candles are inserted into the shields' top flat base, rather than into the cake itself. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "The Top It Cake Shield Aims to Protect Birthday Cakes from Flyaway Germs and Spit," 8 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun City Council is discussing creating a special overlay designation that will target different types of land uses and development in the city. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Avon Lake council looks to create specialty zones to guide development," 1 Mar. 2021 The story is meticulously paced with ever-appearing overlay text, which subtly encourages you to explore certain paths, or rewards you for finding your way. Matt Gardner, Forbes, "‘Maquette’ Review (PS5): The Finest Indie Game Debut In Years," 1 Mar. 2021 Then there’s the multifamily overlay district that town officials are discussing near the Alewife MBTA station, because the new law requires them to do so. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Housing Choice brings the biggest changes to Massachusetts zoning laws in decades," 8 Feb. 2021 The company needs voters to rezone the land into an overlay district to match the rest of Valor Acres. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, "Brecksville City Council votes unanimously to place Sherwin-Williams rezoning on May 4 ballot," 6 Feb. 2021 Voters officially turned down the overlay rezoning Nov. 3. cleveland, "Pepper Pike large property owners not pleased with proposed U-2 zoning changes," 26 Nov. 2020 The girl’s Darling Dots dress comes in sizes 2 to 6 and features ruffles, a bow, and mesh overlay. Lindsey Hunter Lopez, USA TODAY, "26 cute and fun Valentine's Day gifts kids will love," 21 Jan. 2021 Not listed for 2020, along with Candlelight, are the holiday storytellers found in multiple pavilions or the holiday overlay that debuted at Living With the Land last year. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "How Disney will tweak Epcot’s holiday celebrations," 26 Oct. 2020 Take Lizzo, who did some recording in her home studio in a tulle-overlay crop top and ripped jeans. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "This Year, Stars Turned Their Living Rooms Into Red Carpets," 23 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for overlay

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overlay

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Overlay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlay. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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 How to pronounce overlay (audio) \
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 How to pronounce overlay (audio) \

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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Comments on overlay

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