relay

noun
re·​lay | \ ˈrē-ˌlā How to pronounce relay (audio) \

Definition of relay

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : 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
2a : 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
5 : the act of passing along (something, such as a message or ball) by stages also : one of such stages

relay

verb (1)
re·​lay | \ ˈrē-ˌlā How to pronounce relay (audio) , ri-ˈlā How to pronounce relay (audio) \
relayed; relaying

Definition of relay (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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

verb (2)
re·​lay | \ (ˌ)rē-ˈlā How to pronounce relay (audio) \
relaid\ (ˌ)rē-​ˈlād How to pronounce relay (audio) \; relaying

Definition of relay (Entry 3 of 3)

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.

First Known Use of relay

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

History and Etymology for relay

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

Learn More About relay

Time Traveler for relay

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near relay

relaxometer

relay

relay broadcast

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for relay

Cite this Entry

“Relay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relay. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for relay

relay

noun
re·​lay | \ ˈrē-ˌlā How to pronounce relay (audio) \

Kids Definition of relay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a race between teams in which each team member covers a certain part of the course
2 : the act of passing something from one person to the next
3 : a fresh supply (as of horses or people) arranged to relieve others

relay

verb
re·​lay | \ ˈrē-ˌlā How to pronounce relay (audio) , ri-ˈlā \
relayed; relaying

Kids Definition of relay (Entry 2 of 2)

: to pass along by stages Please relay the message to the others.

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!