way·​lay | \ ˈwā-ˌlā How to pronounce waylay (audio) \
waylaid\ ˈwā-​ˌlād How to pronounce waylaid (audio) \; waylaying

Definition of waylay

transitive verb

: to lie in wait for or attack from ambush

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Synonyms for waylay


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Examples of waylay in a Sentence

Gangs sometimes waylay travelers on that road. We were waylaid by a group of kids with water balloons.
Recent Examples on the Web There are worse places to be waylaid than at Denver International Airport, which now has a surprising number — and growing — of local food offerings. Josie Sexton, The Denver Post, "Where to eat and drink at Denver International Airport while stuck during holiday travel," 26 Nov. 2019 That cartoon homage to Asia was waylaid further by a beef patty too thin and dry. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "Review: Conroy’s Bar & Grill gets a global buzz going at its Stone Oak restaurant," 21 Nov. 2019 But the players’ strike that followed waylaid both the Expos’ title hopes and baseball’s future in the city, aided and abetted by neglect from ownership and the team’s status as an orphan under MLB’s rule. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, "Pedro Martinez thinks of Nationals as Expos, but knows 'it's not their duty' to promote Montreal past," 27 Oct. 2019 Many of his charges have struggled to translate his teachings on the mound, falling into mechanical ruts that have waylaid promising seasons. Maria Torres, Los Angeles Times, "Angels pitching coach Doug White lauded despite mixed results," 22 Sep. 2019 Sorek had apparently been waylaid between the nearest bus stop and the yeshiva’s entrance — a distance of roughly 100 yards — along a road that is generally considered safe for Jews, the rabbi said. David M. Halbfinger, BostonGlobe.com, "Yeshiva student found stabbed to death in West Bank," 8 Aug. 2019 After waylaying a doctor en route to a new job at a sleep clinic, Beck takes his place and immediately starts putting the moves on patients. Ed Stockly, latimes.com, "What’s on TV Saturday and Sunday talk shows: ‘Planet Earth: The Hunt’ on BBC America," 12 July 2019 The Aggies were waylaid at Washington State by a 58-7 count, not even coming close to covering a 33-point number. Joe Williams, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "New Mexico State Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide odds, picks and best bets," 4 Sep. 2019 The Ashes, traveling with a toddler, feared getting waylaid and stranded. Sean P. Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "A trip to Ireland balloons from $2,100 to nearly $17,000," 25 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'waylay.' 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 waylay

1513, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for waylay

Time Traveler

The first known use of waylay was in 1513

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Statistics for waylay

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Waylay.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waylaid?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=w&file=waylay11. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for waylay


How to pronounce waylay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of waylay

: to stop (someone who is going somewhere)
: to attack (someone or something) by surprise from a hidden place


way·​lay | \ ˈwā-ˌlā How to pronounce waylay (audio) \
waylaid\ -​ˌlād \; waylaying

Kids Definition of waylay

: to attack from hiding

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More from Merriam-Webster on waylay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for waylay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waylay

Spanish Central: Translation of waylay

Nglish: Translation of waylay for Spanish Speakers

Comments on waylay

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


very cautious or careful

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