relay

1 of 3

noun

re·​lay ˈrē-ˌlā How to pronounce relay (audio)
1
a
: a supply (as of horses) arranged beforehand for successive relief
b
: a number of persons who relieve others in some work
worked in relays around the clock
2
a
: a race between teams in which each team member successively covers a specified portion of the course
b
: one of the divisions of a relay
3
: an electromagnetic device for remote or automatic control that is actuated by variation in conditions of an electric circuit and that operates in turn other devices (such as switches) in the same or a different circuit
4
5
: the act of passing along (something, such as a message or ball) by stages
also : one of such stages

relay

2 of 3

verb (1)

relayed; relaying

transitive verb

1
a
: to place or dispose in relays
b
: to provide with relays
2
: to pass along by relays
news was relayed to distant points
3
: to control or operate by a relay

relay

3 of 3

verb (2)

re·​lay (ˌ)rē-ˈlā How to pronounce relay (audio)
relaid (ˌ)rē-ˈlād How to pronounce relay (audio) ; relaying

transitive verb

: to lay again
relay track

Examples of relay in a Sentence

Noun Our relay team is training for next weekend's race. a satellite relay of a television signal We set up a relay to carry buckets of water to the campsite. They worked in relays to clear the rubble.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Barker came back later and anchored the Mustangs’ relay that won the 4×800 in 9:39.86. Lou Ponsi, Orange County Register, 13 Apr. 2024 The relay team of Coleman, Justin Hart, Timothy Wyatt and Kanye Martin won the boys’ 4X100 relay in 40.29 seconds, fastest in the state this season and fifth fastest all time. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Apr. 2024 The third baseman fired to Stovall at second and his relay was late at first base. Tom Murphy, arkansasonline.com, 6 Apr. 2024 For over 25 years, Fort Worth O.D. Wyatt high school’s 4 x 100 relay time of 39.76 seconds was the national record. Charles Baggarly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 3 Apr. 2024 Courtesy of James O’Brien/Quanta Magazine New methods have enabled neuroanatomists to trace those pathways from the cerebellum across relay points, following them across the entire brain. R Douglas Fields, WIRED, 31 Mar. 2024 The latter isn’t an event staged at the Olympics, but throw in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays and Lyles could target four different disciplines in Paris, an unprecedented breadth of ambition for a sprinter. Amanda Davies, CNN, 21 Mar. 2024 The Razorbacks are the only school qualified in both relay events with their 1,600 and distance medley teams. Bob Holt, arkansasonline.com, 29 Feb. 2024 Last year at the World Athletics Outdoor Championships, Bol and Klaver were legs on the mixed 4x400-meter relay. Katelyn Hutchison, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024
Verb
Two members of the Mexican consulate traveled from Indianapolis to attend the hearing, at which a translator sat by Garcia-Gutierrez's side to quietly relay questions and testimony to him during the proceeding. The Enquirer, 11 Apr. 2024 The teacher also relayed that information to Parker through an intermediary, according to the lawsuit. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, 9 Apr. 2024 Chung relayed another instruction: the Citroën should drive faster onto the bridge. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 The deputy relayed that information to a staffer in Walter’s courtroom. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2024 As Bayer relayed this information to the room that night, board members shook their heads and covered their faces with their hands. Becca Savransky, Idaho Statesman, 27 Mar. 2024 This warning could then be relayed to family members on their Apple Watch or sent to a drowning detection system at a pool to notify lifeguards. Oscar Gonzalez / Gizmodo, Quartz, 2 Apr. 2024 There are a lot of questions about what Ohtani knew and what information Mizuhara had and was not properly relaying to him, as well as, of course, broader speculation about what’s really going on here. Corbin Smith, Rolling Stone, 31 Mar. 2024 The patient can conveniently and painlessly perform the testing at home, with results immediately relayed to the provider via the app. Bruce Rogers, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'relay.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, set of fresh hounds, from relayen

Verb (1)

Middle English, to release a set of fresh hounds, take a fresh horse, from Middle French relaier, from re- + laier to let go, leave — more at delay

Verb (2)

re- + lay entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (1)

1788, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1757, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of relay was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near relay

Cite this Entry

“Relay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relay. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

relay

1 of 3 noun
re·​lay ˈrē-ˌlā How to pronounce relay (audio)
1
: a fresh supply (as of horses or people) arranged to relieve others
2
a
: a race between teams in which each team member covers an assigned part of the course
b
: one of the divisions of a relay
3
: an electromagnetic device in which the opening or closing of one circuit operates another device (as a switch in another circuit)
4
: the act of passing along (as a message or a ball) by stages
also : one of such stages
the shortstop's relay from center field was too late to catch the runner

relay

2 of 3 verb
relayed; relaying
1
a
: to place or arrange in relays
b
: to provide with relays
2
: to pass along by stages
news was relayed by satellites

relay

3 of 3 verb
re·​lay (ˈ)rē-ˈlā How to pronounce relay (audio)
relaid -ˈlād How to pronounce relay (audio) ; relaying
: to lay again
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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