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lay in definition


This page has two definitions of lay in in English. Lay in is a verb. Examples of how to use lay in in a sentence are shown. Also define these 9 related words and terms: lay by, put aside, save, store, art, add, painting, blank, and canvas.

See also: layin, lay-in, and layin'



lay in (third-person singular simple present lays in, present participle laying in, simple past and past participle laid in)

  1. (transitive) To put (something) aside for future use.
    Synonyms: lay by, put aside, save, store
    to lay in a stock / store / supply of something
    • 1613, Robert Harcourt, A Relation of a Voyage to Guiana, London: W. Welby, p. 46,[1]
      Now [] there came vnto my knowledge, an inconuenience happened by the carelesse negligence of the Master of my ship, who had the charge of prouiding and laying in the prouisions and victuals for the voyage,
    • 1722, Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year, London: E. Nutt, J. Roberts, A. Dodd and J. Graves, p. 95,[2]
      As for my little Family, having thus as I have said, laid in a Store of Bread, Butter, Cheese, and Beer, I took my Friend and Physician’s Advice, and lock’d my self up, and my Family, and resolv’d to suffer the hardship of Living a few Mo[n]ths without Flesh-Meat, rather than to purchase it at the hazard of our Lives.
    • 1886, Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge, London: Smith, Elder, Volume 1, Chapter 12, p. 142,[3]
      He applied a light to the laid-in fuel, and a cheerful radiance spread around.
    • 1908, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables, Boston: L. C. Page, Chapter 30, p. 344,[4]
      Have the best time you can in the out-of-door world and lay in a good stock of health and vitality and ambition to carry you through next year.
    • 2003, Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin, London: Serpent’s Tail, 2006, p. 419,[5]
      [] while he laid in a generous supply of arrows for his crossbow over a period of months, he never ordered more than half a dozen at a time.
    • Lay By definition
      Alternative form of lay-by
  2. (transitive, art) To add (something) to a painting, especially directly onto the blank canvas in the early stages of the work.
    She uses a round brush to lay in the background.
    • 1843, John Ruskin, Modern Painters, Volume 1, Section 4, Chapter 3, p. 287,[6]
      The whole [mountain] is first laid in with a very delicate and masterly grey, right in tone, agreeable in colour, quite unobjectionable for a beginning. But how is this made into rock?
    • Add definition
      To join or unite (e.g. one thing to another, or as several particulars) so as to increase the number, augment the quantity, or enlarge the magnitude, or so as to form into one aggregate. (1 of 8 add definitions)