the lay of the land

noun phrase

Definition of the lay of the land

US
: the arrangement of the different parts in an area of land : where things are located in a place She knew the lay of the land from hiking through it daily. often used figurativelyIt takes time for new employees to get the lay of the land in this department.

Learn More about the lay of the land

Statistics for the lay of the land

Cite this Entry

“The lay of the land.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/the%20lay%20of%20the%20land. Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

Comments on the lay of the land

What made you want to look up the lay of the land? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Namesakes Word Quiz

  • a citrus fruit possibly named after a person
  • Which of the following is a fruit named after a Moroccan seaport?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!