over·​lie | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlī How to pronounce overlie (audio) \
overlay\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈlā How to pronounce overlie (audio) \; overlain\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈlān How to pronounce overlie (audio) \; overlying\ ˌō-​vər-​ˈlī-​iŋ How to pronounce overlie (audio) \

Definition of overlie

transitive verb

1 : to lie over or upon
2 : to cause the death of by lying upon

Synonyms for overlie


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Examples of overlie in a Sentence

the puzzle pieces overlay one another in complete disarray on the floor there will be freezing rain tonight, so we can expect to find a thick layer of ice overlying the car windshield in the morning
Recent Examples on the Web The researchers combined reams of geologic data from 2003 to 2017 to determine where U.S. forests and shrublands overlie bedrock that roots could feasibly reach. Tess Joosse, Scientific American, 22 Nov. 2021 The sale outcome would also be a strange end to the Trump administration’s push to allow drilling in the refuge, which is thought to overlie billions of barrels of oil, although that thinking is largely based on decades-old data. New York Times, 30 Dec. 2020 The coastal plain is believed to overlie one of the last remaining significant petroleum reserves in the United States, and could potentially yield billions of barrels of oil. New York Times, 3 Dec. 2020 The coastal plain is thought to overlie geological formations that could hold billions of barrels of oil, although that assessment is based on data collected in the 1980s. New York Times, 16 Nov. 2020 Researchers will also be able to download the map and overlay their data, according to Gizmodo. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Apr. 2020 This melts the overlying ice, creating a dark band of open water running around the equator. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 2 Mar. 2020 So contact is obviously a very important issue, but there may be this overlying effect of the environment, like the climate of a place, that acts as an upper boundary as to how much virus activity there can be. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, 18 Mar. 2020 In these chronic cases, clinicians typically find significant atrophy of the two major muscles that are supplied by the nerve overlying the scapula, and when these muscles atrophy, the bony spine of the scapula becomes very prominent. Texas A&m University, Houston Chronicle, 7 Mar. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'overlie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of overlie

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of overlie was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Overlie.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlie. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for overlie


transitive verb
over·​lie | \ ˌō-vər-ˈlī How to pronounce overlie (audio) \
overlay\ -​ˈlā How to pronounce overlie (audio) \; overlain\ -​ˈlān How to pronounce overlie (audio) \; overlying\ -​ˈlī-​iŋ How to pronounce overlie (audio) \

Medical Definition of overlie

: to cause the death of by lying upon

More from Merriam-Webster on overlie

Britannica English: Translation of overlie for Arabic Speakers


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