the lay of the land

noun phrase

: 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 figuratively
It takes time for new employees to get the lay of the land in this department.

Examples of the lay of the land in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The best things to do at Shenandoah National Park Start by getting the lay of the land. Erin Gifford, Condé Nast Traveler, 9 May 2023 And for the coaching staff to get into their offices and get the lay of the land. Jason Mastrodonato, The Mercury News, 28 Feb. 2024 Luckily, the lay of the land around the new fissure channeled most of the fresh lava into an unpopulated area to the east. Tom Yulsman, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2024 By contrast, Russian diplomats need only go online to get the lay of the land, and since that can be done from anywhere, their expulsion hurts Moscow less. Daniel Fried, Foreign Affairs, 3 Apr. 2018 By the time Fidel Castro had seized power, her parents saw the lay of the land and made that final step, settling in Miami. Jessica Ferri, Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan. 2024 Beyond spending thousands of dollars to see these shows, the next best thing is this glamorous coffee table biography from Silverman, who knows the lay of the land and puts Sondheim in only the best light. Jem Aswad, Variety, 15 Dec. 2023 Hogg, a native Zambian, was there to greet us and give the lay of the land. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 14 Sep. 2023 To get the lay of the land, start your trip to Middleburg on foot. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 2 Sep. 2023

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

Dictionary Entries Near the lay of the land

Cite this Entry

“The lay of the land.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

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