Definition of inlay in English:


Translate inlay into Spanish

transitive verbpast participle verb inlaid/ˈinˌlād/ /ˈɪnˌleɪd/

[with object]
  • 1Ornament (an object) by embedding pieces of a different material in it, flush with its surface.

    ‘mahogany paneling inlaid with rosewood’
    • ‘The Sheraton card table between the windows is inlaid with rectangular birch panels and was made in Boston about 1805.’
    • ‘The eyes themselves were originally inlaid with another material, which has unfortunately been lost.’
    • ‘Some plaques are carved with dragons, phoenixes and flowers, some are even inlaid with pearls and jade.’
    • ‘The path took around two weeks to construct and is inlaid with roman numerals, equations, a clock and a mathematical maze.’
    • ‘Its sidewalks are inlaid with large musical notes, and a collage of the Junction's musical history adorns the side of a barbershop that years ago was one of the Junction's favorite juke joints.’
    • ‘The chairs drawn up to the dining-room table are inlaid with strings of bellflowers suspended from rings, testifying to their Baltimore origin.’
    • ‘The floors of the principal downstairs rooms are oak inlaid with walnut strips, while the upstairs floors are maple.’
    • ‘Once cast, most of his sculptures are inlaid with mosaic and glass tiles.’
    • ‘The blade was inlaid with a beautiful white gold rose that meandered its way from the hilt to half way down the double edged sword.’
    • ‘The table is inlaid with a spotless, stainless steel board, and the tableau comes alive as the chef prepares food for diners sitting in front of him.’
    • ‘Each piece in the series, ranging from 3 to 7 feet high, is a single thick plate with meticulous rectangles etched or sandblasted onto the surface and inlaid with a mirror plate.’
    • ‘His breastplate was inlaid with black obsidian, the preserved iron exquisitely forged.’
    • ‘The first lot is an amaranth and marquetry box whose top is inlaid with a map of the British Isles.’
    • ‘Columns supporting the roof were inlaid with elaborate, seemingly aimless designs; tantalizingly intricate, almost gaudy.’
    • ‘They seemed to be made of solid stone, but were inlaid with precious red and purple stones that formed arcane and twisted designs.’
    • ‘Its top is inlaid with brass with a border of stars and interlaced lines.’
    • ‘In the ceiling is a tower inlaid with stained glass panels.’
    • ‘The stone under the magnificent window was inscribed with tiny carved letters, they were inlaid with a gold leaf so they could be made readable.’
    • ‘The cup stands 86 cm high and is inlaid with brass.’
    • ‘An almost seam free marble floor can be inlaid with tracery, borders, natural mosaics and other patterns in an infinite number of ways.’
    1. 1.1Embed (material or a design) flush with the surface of an object.
      ‘a small silver crown was inlaid in the wood’
      • ‘The jet buttons had been brought from 250 km away, and one of them was decorated with a cruciform design made by selectively dulling the polished surface and inlaying metallic tin, which must have been imported from south-west England.’
      • ‘Carved ornaments were widely used in the Qing style furniture, into which bone and glass were frequently inlaid.’
      • ‘There follows the process of outlining, inlaying gold, painting and finishing.’
      • ‘Wood, ivory bone, metal, or other materials are inlaid into a sheet of veneer that is in turn fixed to the surface of a piece of furniture.’
      • ‘A low table - only calf-high - filled the center of the room; oak, it looked like, with parquetry designs inlaid in the surface.’
      • ‘‘Banding’ describes strips of contrasting wood inlaid into a surface.’
      • ‘These were supplanted by blocks into which metal (usually copper or brass) was inlaid.’
      • ‘A colourful crystal flower is elaborately inlaid inside the transparent crystal.’
      • ‘The show's most impressive piece was Tully, for which the artist cut a design into the gallery's wall and inlaid an off-white encaustic medium.’
      • ‘The other one is inlaid in stone just outside the doors, in a little elevated, shielded courtyard overlooking the Nob Hill park.’
      • ‘When you look at it closely you can see that it's some kind of epoxy or super hard plastic that's actually inlaid in the asphalt itself.’
      • ‘You can find the boards with brass corners, inlaid maple and walnut, Italian alabaster, and pewter.’
      • ‘The blended clay was then formed into a brick, a thin slice of which was inlaid into a shallow recessed channel around the body of the teapot and adhered with wet slip.’
      • ‘Each letter looked to have been hand carved and inlaid in a plastic or epoxy base.’
      • ‘The Spetisbury ring, 14 mm across, was made from a round gold bar, with stripes of electrum (gold with high silver content) inlaid in a continuous spiral.’
      • ‘Among the many attractions of this park, there is a working clock affixed on the grounds, inlaid among flowers and foliage.’
      • ‘Most of then had a pearl shell inlaid, and the gold leaf in combination with marble looked just magnificent.’
      • ‘The church tower, which has Saxon stone carvings inlaid in the walls, is 16th century and the rest was rebuilt in 1904.’
      • ‘Each of the faces is set with a panel of gold cellwork, inlaid in a matching pattern with three stepped garnets.’
      • ‘One chapter explains the inlaying of silver on a black metal base.’
      embed, set, fix into, insert, inlay, implant, bury, base, plant, settle
    2. 1.2Insert (a page, an illustration, etc.) in a space cut in a larger thicker page.



/ˌinˈlā/ /ˌɪnˈleɪ/


  • 1A design, pattern, or piece of material inlaid in something.

    ‘ivory inlays that decorated wooden furnishings’
    • ‘a dazzling inlay of precious stones’
    • ‘Both guns are spruced up with sterling thumb piece inlays on the wrist.’
    • ‘You can use a router to cut mortises for hardware, to joint and trim lumber, to create recesses for decorative inlays, and much more.’
    • ‘The high ceilings were arched and crossed with wooden inlays in a repeating diamond pattern.’
    • ‘They often had tortoiseshell veneer and ivory and mother-of-pearl inlays.’
    • ‘The inner surface can be scraped off, sliced thin and used as an inlay for jewellery items.’
    • ‘Makers created presentation models crafted from expensive woods with carved elements and inlays of mother-of-pearl or ivory.’
    • ‘On the tabletop inlays and the ivory panels, the predators include griffins and sphinxes, composite creatures based on the leonine form, while the bowl depicts lions in positions of attack.’
    • ‘Past the entryway, the marble gave way to plush carpets and dark wooden inlays in the wall.’
    • ‘The highly unusual interplay of materials affords rich tonal contrasts and skillfully integrates the solidity of the carved wooden structure with the intricacy of the inscribed inlays.’
    • ‘Their lustrous lacquer finishes and intricate inlays, undeniably ornamental, were the antithesis of machine production.’
    • ‘The elegantly crafted table is constructed in English walnut with inlays of burr elm and satinwood stringing.’
    • ‘The knife's steeped handle is genuine bone, and the bolster features an engraved leaf pattern of 24K inlay on a blued background.’
    • ‘The shells were exported for manufacture into buttons, millions of them, and for ornamental inlays in wood.’
    • ‘Next to the bed is a cherry stand made in Connecticut, about 1810 to 1825, with pinwheel inlays on the drawer fronts and icicle inlay on the upper part of the front legs.’
    • ‘Picking up her brothers sword she examined it, the hilt was molded from solid gold, with white opal and mother of pearl inlay.’
    • ‘The grand white doors revealed a marble hallway, with mother-of-pearl inlay on the walls.’
    • ‘On the steel buttplate, Welch engraved a big horn sheep and a mountain goat and surrounding these two fine animals, he added his exquisite scroll along with gold line inlay.’
    • ‘It was like a piece of art in itself - intricately carved with flowers and birds, with gold inlay dotting the frame.’
    • ‘The bedrooms will include ivory shaker wardrobes by Cawleys, while the bathrooms will be tiled and the internal doors will be oak with walnut inlay.’
    • ‘The D-shaped sideboard of mahogany with unidentified lightwood string inlay, was probably made in Boston, about 1795 to 1810.’
    1. 1.1A material or substance that is inlaid.
      ‘mother-of-pearl is widely used as an inlay in furniture and musical instruments’
      • ‘Mosaic has been occasionally used as exterior decoration on the façades of medieval churches and modern architecture; it has also been used as a furniture inlay and to create small-scale portable pictures.’
      • ‘The materials describe the natural African environment, and indigenous wood inlays and local granite were used.’
      cladding, veneer, skin, decorative layer, protective layer, surface, facade, front, fronting, false front, coating, covering, dressing, overlay, revetment, paving, lamination, inlay, plating
    2. 1.2Inlaid work.
      ‘the cathedral was decorated with mosaic and inlay’
      • ‘But a hundred years later, the revival of the earlier style would have included profuse inlay.’
      • ‘They were basically copying our designs for expensive wood inlay but using their labor and materials to beat us on price.’
    3. 1.3The technique of inlaying material.
      ‘techniques like inlay’
      • ‘inlay work’
      • ‘Or maybe it is her masterful use of gold inlay, a technique derived from Renaissance artists.’
      • ‘The furniture reflects both German ivory inlay and designs on textiles produced locally for the European market.’
      • ‘However, the style of wood inlay can bring unique detail to your rooms.’
      • ‘Carving, inlay, and veneer were not the only ways to decorate a sugar chest.’
      • ‘Yet another technique of which he had not located a description in published sources was inlay of silver, gold, or mother-of-pearl inset into lacquer.’
      • ‘Other forms of graphic arts include lacquerware, mother-of-pearl inlay, gold work, nielloware, silverware, wood carving, ceramics, basketry and plaiting, weaving, and painting on paper or canvas.’
  • 2A filling shaped to fit a tooth cavity.

    ‘In the ninth century the Mayans placed decorative inlays in anterior teeth.’
    • ‘A temporary filling is placed to protect the tooth while the laboratory uses the mould to make the inlay or onlay.’
    • ‘He had the gold inlays removed from his teeth to project a better image.’
    • ‘The only way the teeth (which are the important chewing teeth) can be saved is to remove the fillings and replace them with gold inlays (which means lining the inside of the teeth with gold).’
    • ‘While my mother urged all her patients with cavities to request gold foils or inlays, many of them could not afford it.’
    • ‘The good news is that, subject to Government approval, I am to get at least two gold inlays.’
    • ‘This was the scene at just after 12, before I popped out to the dentist (broken back tooth, which he somehow managed to re-fill without needing a crown or inlay as I'd feared).’
    backing, interlining, facing, inlay, reinforcement, liner
  • 3A printed card or paper insert supplied with a CD, video, etc.

    as modifier ‘an inlay card’
    • ‘When they left I printed out some CD inlay cards for my backups, which did nothing to help achieve an early night, which was this evening's project.’
    • ‘In the newer version, there would also be a machine on hand which could print the inlay and documentation at the same time - all the shop need to is supply the box and disk.’
    • ‘I am also full of admiration for his enlightened essay which sheds some interesting facts on the Breughel reproduction printed on the front of the inlay card.’
    • ‘He was busy signing autographs for his fans, on the inlay cards of the cassettes, and handing them over with a gentle smile and a handshake.’
    • ‘Ideally, the inlay card would include actual directions for diffusing an atomic bomb.’
    • ‘I have included some of their comments and information on the songs in the inlay card.’
    • ‘He tenderly places the ash-grey cassette on his bedside cabinet and tugs out the inlay card.’
    • ‘There's a cover page with perfunctory artwork (there is no booklet, per se) and an inlay card with track listings and a few brief paragraphs of notes concerning the performance and the recordings.’
    • ‘This is a CD-R, and the packaging is minimalist, although there are annotations (on the inlay card, not in a booklet).’
    • ‘There's a cover page with artwork, and no booklet, per se, but there is an inlay card with track listings and a few brief paragraphs of notes concerning the performance and the recordings.’
    • ‘Melissa unfolds the inlay card and shows us a few.’
    • ‘But what about the lyrics, the graphic design on the posters and the labels and the inlay cards and the tickets and in this case, rather more pertinently, the videos?’
    • ‘Counterfeit CDs, videos and DVDs may have photocopied inlay cards and labels.’
    • ‘They designed the inlay for their CD, their posters and now plan a video.’
    • ‘If you for some unknown reason are not familiar with this man, the photo in the inlay of this album is enough to prove just how impressive he is.’
    • ‘As the inlay says, the audience don't get it and Bill pulls out every trick he knows to try and win them over.’
    • ‘I could make mix CDs to my heart's content - with inlays and everything.’
    • ‘CD inlays don't have the romance of 12 inch sleeves.’
    • ‘A lovely bonus is the excellent background details on all twelve songs which are featured in the highly informative inlay.’
    • ‘I remember obsessing over his Purple Rain album inlay, memorising the lyrics.’
    enclosure, insertion, inset, inlay, addition, supplement



/ˈinˌlā/ /ˈɪnˌleɪ/


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘lay something in a place in order to hide or preserve it’): from in-‘into’ + lay.