overlay

verb
over·​lay | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlā How to pronounce overlay (audio) \
overlaid\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈlād How to pronounce overlaid (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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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 Snapchat has faced criticism in the past for other controversial filters, which overlay digital objects and special effects on photos and videos. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "Snapchat apologizes for Juneteenth filter that asked users to smile to break chains," 19 June 2020 More disorienting, though, was the spray of digitized color that washed over information that already overlaid Keegan’s view of the lobby due to her AR. August Cole, Wired, "AI, AR, and the (Somewhat) Speculative Future of a Tech-Fueled FBI," 5 June 2020 In May, Disney+ launched a new series known as Zenimation, which essentially is classic Disney animation overlaid with calming music to soothe your soul. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Disney's New ‘Zenimation’ Series Is Here to Calm Your Nerves," 3 June 2020 The seat is built around a sinuous carbon-fiber frame overlaid with a transparent and tinted polycarbonate skin. Noah Joseph, Car and Driver, "Car Designer Frank Stephenson Reinvents the Child Car Seat," 5 May 2020 At key points in her fluent mix of talking-head interviews, drone footage, surveillance video and family photos, the director overlays excerpts from Zhang's handwritten diaries. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Finding Yingying': Film Review | SXSW 2020," 27 Mar. 2020 McKenna created a custom wallcovering by overlaying a vinyl grasscloth from Sonia's Place with stripes cut from a Les Indiennes fabric. Alexandra Morris, House Beautiful, "How a Designer Revived a Seaside Home With Pattern, Pattern and More Pattern," 30 Mar. 2020 Through a combination of rap and spoken word overlaying the film, Ahmed describes the brutal reality for people of color living in a xenophobic post-Brexit Britain. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Riz Ahmed 'breaks up' with Britain in an emotional album and short film 'The Long Goodbye'," 7 Mar. 2020 In Castillo’s artwork, the image of a school for Native American children gets overlaid with a chain-link fence pattern that emulates the moire print on real passport pages. R. Daniel Foster, Los Angeles Times, "Why artist Pilar Castillo made this hyper-real but very fake U.S. passport," 16 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There's a new dashboard for viewing achievements, leaderboards, and friends that will be accessible as an overlay on existing games. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Gaming on Apple platforms is set for some big changes—here are a few," 26 June 2020 Under the overlay district guidelines, the city’s Planning Commission and council would have to approve any development plan for the property. cleveland, "Pepper Pike to hold online public hearing on Beech Brook rezoning July 29," 25 June 2020 The Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission voted at its June 15 meeting not to initiate historic preservation overlay zoning on the building, meaning nothing is now stopping the owners, CSM Lodging, from demolishing it. Emilly Davis, The Arizona Republic, "Historic downtown Phoenix Steinegger Lodging House building to be demolished," 24 June 2020 Worthy of any summer celebration, this on-trend style features an overlay for an illusion midi hemline. NBC News, "Best summer dresses to shop in 2020, according to experts," 22 June 2020 Crucial to any new architectural overlay is the underlying infrastructure. Daniel Berninger, Wired, "The Internet Needs a New Architecture that Puts Users First," 13 June 2020 This set includes a TEMPUR mattress overlay and a supportive neck pillow—basically, a miniature Tempur-Pedic bed in a box, at the fraction of the cost. Tessa Bahoosh, USA TODAY, "10 things you didn't know you could get at Tempur-Pedic," 3 June 2020 What was just a simple four-option overlay has become a full-screen interface packed with buttons. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Android 11 power menu leak shows new smart home integration," 1 June 2020 Snap has seen a 10-fold increase in downloads of a tool called Snap Camera that lets users of video-conferencing services like Zoom add filters (including dog-ear overlays) to make quarantine-era meetings more fun. Brad Stone, Bloomberg.com, "Which Tech Companies Will Thrive, Survive and Suffer in the Pandemic," 8 May 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

1 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Overlay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlay. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for overlay

overlay

verb
How to pronounce overlay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overlay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

overlay

noun
How to pronounce overlay (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on overlay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overlay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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