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

Definition of overlie

transitive verb

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

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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 Other paintings overlay a cranium and its contents, whether bone, flesh or inner light. Washington Post, "In the galleries: The heady works of Soriano at OAS Art Museum of the Americas," 13 Sep. 2019 Researchers have a good understanding of Antarctic subglacial lakes, which can fill and drain and cause overlying ice to flow quicker. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "More Than 50 Lakes Found Under Greenland Ice Sheet," 27 June 2019 Normally, this recombination causes peaks in one half-beam’s waves to overlie troughs in the other’s, and vice versa, resulting in darkness. The Economist, "Gravitational astronomy proves its maturity," 22 Aug. 2019 Since October 2018, Casciello has created about 30 Snapchat filters, which overlay digital objects and special effects on photos and videos. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "Snapchat creators earn serious money from making photo filters," 13 Aug. 2019 The projectors overlay information for the workers directly on the fuselage itself, such as where fasteners are to be installed, the order that work is to be done, and where certain tooling accessories are not to be used. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Even Building the F-35 Is a High-Tech Process," 3 July 2019 Why overlay these canvases signifying debt with maps of continents, with national borders explicitly depicted or intimated? Gaiutra Bahadur, The New Republic, "The United States’ Debt to Immigrants," 25 June 2019 There was the signal, and there was their prediction of what the waveform from the merger of two black holes would look like overlying it. Quanta Magazine, "From Einstein’s Theory to Gravity’s Chirp," 18 Feb. 2016 Heat waves create the perfect conditions for spotting crop marks, which form in fields that overlay ancient buildings, from the air. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "A Heat Wave is Revealing Centuries-Old Sites in Wales," 11 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of overlie

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for overlie

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for overlie

Last Updated

22 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Overlie.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overlying. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for overlie


How to pronounce overlie (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of overlie

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

Medical Definition of overlie

: to cause the death of by lying upon

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More from Merriam-Webster on overlie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for overlie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with overlie

Britannica English: Translation of overlie for Arabic Speakers

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