Synonyms of lay in English

: lay1lay2


See US English definition of lay

See UK English definition of lay

See Spanish definition of poner


1‘Curtis laid the empty can on the passenger seat’

put, place, set, put down, set down, deposit, rest, situate, sit, settle, stow, balance, station, drop, leave, let fall, throw down, fling down, deploy, locate, position
informal plant, stick, dump, bung, park, plonk, pop, shove

pick up

2‘the Act which laid the foundation for the modern education system’

set in place, set in position, put in place, put in position, set out, position
establish, set up

3‘I'll lay money that Michelle will be there’

bet, wager, gamble, stake, hazard, risk, chance, venture
give odds, speculate, game
British informal punt, have a flutter

4‘he had been the first to lay formal charges’

bring, bring forward, put forward, submit, advance, present, press, prefer, offer, lodge, register, place, file, table
accuse, charge, indict
British table
North American impeach

5‘he laid the blame for the crisis firmly at the Prime Minister's door’

assign, attribute, ascribe, allocate, allot, impute, attach, impose, fix
hold someone responsible, hold someone accountable, hold someone answerable, condemn, find guilty of, pin the blame on

exonerate, hold blameless

6‘we laid plans for the next voyage’

devise, arrange, contrive, make, prepare, work out, hatch, concoct, design, plan, scheme, plot, organize, frame, think up, dream up, cook up, brew, conceive, make ready, get ready, put together, draw up, produce, develop, compose, formulate

7‘the new section laid a responsibility on the court to consider whether financial obligations should be terminated’

impose, apply, entrust, vest, place, put
inflict, encumber, saddle, tax, charge, burden


8‘the eagles laid two eggs’

technical oviposit

Synonyms of lay in English

: lay1lay2


See US English definition of lay

See UK English definition of lay

See Spanish definition of poner


1‘a lay preacher’

non-clerical, non-ordained, non-ecclesiastical, secular, temporal
civil, civilian
rare laic, laical


2‘I cannot explain to a lay audience the techniques I used to study these genes’

non-professional, amateur, non-specialist, non-technical, untrained, unqualified, inexpert

qualified, professional


    lay something in

    ‘Bill proposed that we should lay in a lot of good meat, and keep it for the winter’

    stock up on, stock up with, stockpile, store, store up, amass, heap up, hoard, save, stow, put aside, garner, accumulate, pile up, mass, assemble, stack up, put away, stow away, husband, reserve, preserve, conserve, collect, muster, put by, put by for a rainy day, squirrel away
    informal salt away, stash, stash away
    lay into

    1‘three youths laid into him’

    attack, assail, hit, strike, let fly at, tear into, lash out at, set upon, fall on, turn on, assault, beat, thrash, pound, pummel, wallop, hammer, pounce on, round on, pelt, drub
    informal lace into, sail into, pitch into, let someone have it, get stuck into, paste, do over, knock about, knock around, rough up
    British informal set about, have a go at

    leave in peace

    2‘there was no reason for him to lay into her with a string of insults’

    criticize harshly, castigate, censure, lambast, harangue, condemn, pillory, rant at, rave at
    berate, upbraid, rebuke, chide, reproach, reprove, scold
    informal pitch into, crucify, slag off
    British informal have a go at, rubbish
    North American informal light into, bad-mouth, bawl out
    rare objurgate

    praise, extol

    lay someone off

    ‘cutbacks forced the museum to lay off 244 employees’

    dismiss, let go, discharge, give notice to, pay off, release
    British make redundant
    informal sack, give someone the sack, fire, give someone their marching orders, send packing, give someone the boot, give someone the bullet, give someone the push, give someone the heave-ho, give someone the old heave-ho, boot out
    British informal give someone their cards

    take on, hire

    lay hands on

    1‘wait till I lay my hands on you!’

    catch, lay hold of, get one's hands on, get hold of, seize, grab, snatch, clutch, grip, grasp, capture

    let go, leave alone

    2‘it's not easy to lay your hands on decent champagne around here’

    obtain, acquire, get, come by, find, locate, discover, unearth, uncover, bring to light, run to earth, turn up, pick up, come up with, secure, procure, hit on, ferret out, get one's hands on, encounter, get possession of, buy, purchase
    informal get one's mitts on

    3‘the pastor will lay hands on those who come before him’

    bless, consecrate
    lay down the law

    ‘when his father tried to lay down the law, he rebelled’

    order someone around, order someone about, tell someone what to do, boss someone about, boss someone around, ride roughshod over someone, be dogmatic, be domineering
    call the shots, call the tune
    informal throw one's weight about, throw one's weight around, push someone about, push someone around
    lay off

    ‘you should lay off smoking’

    give up, stop, refrain from, abstain from, not continue, desist from, leave alone, cut out
    North American quit
    informal pack in, leave off, kick, give over, knock off

    start, take up

    lay someone out

    ‘he belted him, laid him out flat’

    knock out, knock unconscious, knock down, fell, floor, flatten, prostrate
    KO, kayo, knock for six
    lay something aside

    1‘payments for farmers who lay aside areas for conservation’

    put aside, put to one side, keep, save, store, hold in abeyance

    2‘they must lay aside their differences and work together’

    abandon, cast aside, reject, renounce, repudiate, dismiss, disregard, ignore, forget, discard
    archaic forsake

    take up

    3‘Protestants opposed it strongly enough to lead the government to lay the idea aside’

    defer, shelve, hold over, suspend, put on ice, mothball, set aside, put off, put aside, put out of one's mind, wave aside, put back, adjourn
    informal put on the back burner, put in cold storage
    rare remit

    pursue, promote, progress

    lay it on

    ‘lay it on thick about what you'll do for them’

    exaggerate, stretch the truth, overdo it, overstate one's case, embellish the truth
    flatter, pay extravagant compliments, give fulsome praise, over-praise, soft-soap
    informal pile it on, lay it on with a shovel, lay it on with a trowel, ham it up, sweet-talk


    lay something down

    1‘he laid down his glass’

    put down, set down, place down, deposit, drop, station, leave, rest
    informal dump, bung down, plonk down

    2‘they were forced to lay down their weapons’

    relinquish, surrender, give up, yield, cede, turn over
    disarm, give in, submit, capitulate, raise the white flag, show the white flag, throw in the sponge, throw in the towel, demilitarize

    3‘the ground rules laid down by the Civil Aviation Authority’

    formulate, stipulate, set down, draw up, frame
    prescribe, order, command, ordain, dictate, decree, enjoin, assert
    pronounce, announce, proclaim, promulgate
    enact, pass, direct, decide, determine, impose, establish, institute, specify, fix, codify

    4‘I like to buy young wines and lay them down for a few years’

    store, put into store, keep for future use, keep, save
    lay something out

    1‘Robyn laid the plans out on the desk’

    spread out, set out, arrange, display, exhibit, distribute, line up, order

    fold up, put away

    2‘a pamphlet which tells you how to lay out election leaflets’

    design, plan, set out, arrange
    map out, outline, sketch out, rough out, block out, detail, draw up, formulate, work out, frame, draft, plot out, trace out

    3‘he had to lay out $70 on antibiotics’

    spend, expend, pay, disburse, contribute, part with, invest, put in, devote, use up, donate, give
    lavish, squander, waste, dissipate
    informal shell out, fork out, dish out, splurge
    British informal stump up
    North American informal ante up, pony up
    lay something on

    ‘they arrived at the club to find no refreshments laid on’

    provide, supply, furnish, give, fix up, line up, organize, prepare, produce, come up with, dispense, purvey, bestow, impart, make available
    lay something bare

    ‘the secrets of his heart will be laid bare’

    reveal, disclose, divulge, show, expose, exhibit, bring to light, uncover, unveil, unmask, manifest, express, highlight, pinpoint, put the spotlight on, betray, give away, smoke out, let slip, blurt out, publish, acknowledge, make a clean breast of, make known, make public


    lay eyes on

    ‘I've never laid eyes on him before!’

    see, spot, observe, regard, notice, catch sight of, view, perceive, discern, spy
    informal clap eyes on, set eyes on, clock
    literary behold, espy, descry