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

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 The fuzziness solidifies, control overlaying chaos. Jason Kehe, WIRED, "The Real Reason You Use Closed Captions for Everything Now," 26 June 2018 The Post's Philip Bump overlaid 2016 voting patterns on maps showing the sources of commodities China is targeting with its tariffs. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Trump tariffs aren't going to impede economic growth (yet)," 5 Apr. 2018 Thanks to a heavy emphasis on linen, the tailoring had a softer-than-usal feeling, even when overlaid with panels of silk and organza to create floral landscapes as impressively drafted as anything on Carlotta’s walls or ceilings. Luke Leitch, Vogue, "Male Patterned Boldness: Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Sartoria Ode to Villa Carlotta," 9 July 2018 Facebook had another program that let advertisers overlay their own data with third-party firms', called Managed Customer Audiences. Bloomberg, latimes.com, "Facebook's data crackdown has two winners, and one of them is Facebook," 6 Apr. 2018 Anti-government conservatives had long feared that democracy would facilitate the many to confiscate the resources of the few; meanwhile demographic change has overlaid a parallel ethnic pessimism. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "The Anti-Trump Right Has Become Trump’s Base," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The overlay plan already bans tattoo parlors, bottle clubs, fortune tellers and flea markets from the area. Ryan Gillespie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Food trucks likely will have to close at midnight in Conway neighborhood," 25 June 2018 Regarding asphalt work, the city plans on completing a mill-and-fill overlay on Lewis Road from Bagley Road to West Road this summer. John Benson, cleveland.com, "Olmsted Falls spending $400,000 on summer road construction projects," 2 May 2018 The state portion will be divided between $53 million for state road preservation, which could include patching potholes or asphalt overlays but not total reconstruction of roads, and the rest toward the enhancement projects. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Snyder: To fix roads, we must hike federal gas tax," 20 Mar. 2018 Crews will remove the old concrete deck, repair and then overlay with a new 2-inch sheet of concrete. Meg Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Long-term closures on High Rise Bridge rescheduled because of weather," 27 Feb. 2018 Its focus is on neighborhood roads around Dwyer and Michoud, with a mixture of road reconstruction and overlay. Beau Evans, NOLA.com, "Here's where roads are being fixed in New Orleans East and the Lower 9th Ward," 11 Jan. 2018 The closures — some of which could last for months — took effect this week as maintenance work began on the northern section of the High Rise, where new concrete overlays are being installed. Jesse Garza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "High Rise Bridge closures bring frustration, gridlock and clever workarounds," 8 Mar. 2018 The signs are being discussed in tandem with the city's efforts to create an overlay district that focuses on enhancing the downtown. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Yorkville looks at signs to draw more people downtown," 9 July 2018 Girlish, too, were the thoughtful touches of pink, echoed in the collection and found in glossed pouts and three-dimensional overlays of pastel eye adornments—as well as the warming runway lighting that cast hair in a faint pastel glow. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Gucci's New Beauty Dare: Go Girlie or Go Goth!," 31 May 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

25 Aug 2018

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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Comments on overlay

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