From Middle English lai, lay, from Old French lai (“song, lyric, poem”), from Old Frankish *laik, *laih (“play, melody, song”), from Proto-Germanic *laikaz, *laikiz (“jump, play, dance, hymn”), from Proto-Indo-European *loig-, *(e)laiǵ- (“to jump, spring, play”). Akin to Old High German leih (“a play, skit, melody, song”), Middle High German leich (“piece of music, epic song played on a harp”), Gothic (laiks, “a dance”), Old English lācan (“to move quickly, fence, sing”). More at lake.
lai (plural lais)
See also 
- IPA: /lɛ/
Etymology 1 
From Middle French lai, from Old French lai (“song, lyric, poem”), from Old Frankish *laik, *laih (“play, melody, song”), from Proto-Germanic *laikaz, *laikiz (“jump, play, dance, hymn”), from Proto-Indo-European *loig-, *(e)laiǵ- (“to jump, spring, play”). Akin to Old High German leih (“a play, skit, melody, song”), Middle High German leich (“piece of music, epic song played on a harp”), Old English lācan (“to move quickly, fence, sing”). More at lake.
lai m (plural lais)
Etymology 2 
- lay, equivalent to French laïc, laïque (relating to laypersons as opposed to clerical).
- Only used in the phrase "frères lais"; means religious servants not (yet) having been admitted to the priestly dignity.
Traditionally, lai is derived from the imperative form of the verb laist (“to allow, to permit”) (q.v.): laid > lai, an evolution reminiscent of Russian пускай, пусть (“let, so be”) from пускать (“to allow, to permit”). The form laid is indeed attested as a conjunction in the earliest sources. This view, however, has been recently criticized on the basis that Latvian lai, Lithuanian laĩ are clearly related to Old Prussian -lai, which is added to (usually infinitive) verbs to indicate volitive or conditional mood. This suggests a Proto-Baltic form *lai, probably related to the final -le of Latvian reinforcing particles jele ~ jel, nule, and (dialectal) nele, and to Old Prussian -le, apparently a variant of -lai. This *le would then have the same origin as Proto-Slavic *li (cf. Polish li (“only”) Russian ли), with cognates in other languages (Albanian, Tocharian) from a basic Proto-Indo-European *l-. After this criticism, the relationship between lai and laist has become unclear. Maybe Proto-Indo-European *l- was an old verb, or maybe laist was derived from an older particle.
- IPA: [laî]
- with the conditional, indicating purpose, sometimes cause; sometimes correlating with tāpēc, tādēļ in the main clause; so that, in order to, in order that
- lai varētu labāk pārredzēt apkārtni, bija jāuzkāpj tornī — in order to be able to see the surroundings better, it was necessary to climb the tower
- kad viņa, laimīgi smiedamās, pacēla savu glāzi, lai saskandinātu ar viesiem, es noraudzījos ar klusu skaudību — when she, laughing happily, lifted her glass, in order to clink glasses with the visitors, I watched with quiet envy
- gājējiem jāraugās, lai dēļa vaļējais gals neiesistu pa pieri — the passers-by must be careful, so that the free end of the log does not hit them on the forehead
- apģērbam un apaviem jābūt ērtiem, lai tie netraucētu kustības — clothes and shoes must be comfortable, so that they don't disturb (one's) movement
- kafiju nedrīkst vārīt, lai tā nezaudētu aromātu — coffee should not be boiled, so that it doesn't lose its aroma
- es mācos tikai tāpēc, lai labāk noderētu lielajā cīņā — I learn only so that I can serve better in the great fight
- studēt es gribu tikai tādēļ, lai pati vairāk zinātu un lai iegūtās zināšanas varētu atdot citiem — I want to study only so that I will know more and so that the knowledge gained can be given to others
- indicating concession, especially in the combinations lai gan, lai arī; though, although, even though
- lai cīņas būs grūtas, mēs uzvarēsim — though the fight will be difficult, we will win
- un, lai ļaudis sacījuši ko sacīdami, jaunā sieva katru sliktu vārdu atvairījusi — and, although the people said what(ever) they wanted, the young wife deflected every bad word
- pēc teātra Vilis Virpuls palika uz deju, lai gan nekad nedejoja — after the theater Vilis Virpuls stayed at the dance, even though he never danced
- viņš atbrauca ātri, lai gan ceļš bija slikts — he came quickly, although the road was bad
- lai arī dārzs ir mazliet nolaists, tas tomēr ir skaists — although the garden is a little neglected, it still is beautiful
- indicating strong concession, in combination with arī, nu, vai and with interrogative pronouns like cik, kāds, kurš, kas, kur; no matter how, which, who, what, where; however, wherever, whichever, whoever, whatever, wherever
- viņa bija viņam iedvesusi ticību, ka viņš skatīs sauli, lai arī cik grūti būtu pašreiz — she had inspired in him the belief that he would look at the sun, no matter how difficult this would be now
- mēs visi būsim kopā, lai kā mums kuram ies — we will all be together, no matter how it goes for us
- lai vai kā, es tomēr runāšu — no matter how (= whatever happens), I will still speak
- lai kur kāds runā, viņš tūdaļ pretī ar savu — wherever someone speaks, he immediately (goes) against him with his (words, opinions)
- lai nu tālu, tomēr kādos svētkos raudzīšu attikt — however far (it may be), I will still try to be at the celebration
- after certain verbs, introducing a direct object clause; that, for ... to, to
- zīlītes vairs negaidīja, lai Ilzīte viņas baro — the titmouses no longer waited for Ilzīte to feed them
- nē, viņa lūdza, lai es apturu mašīnu — no, she asked that I stop the car
- vai nevajadzētu paziņot, lai atbrauc viņa piederīgie? — couldn't (you) have informed (us) that his people would come back?
- bērnu stomatoloģiskajā poliklīnikā galvenokārt rūpējas par to, lai zobi tiktu savlaicīgi salaboti — in the children's dental clinic, one cares primarily that the (children's) teeth will be repaired in time
- indicating manner and/or purpose, usually correlating with an adverb like tā (“like that”) in the main clause; so that, such that, in such a way that
- runā, lai var ko saprast — speak so that (= in such a way that) one can understand something
- lampu novietu tā, lai gaisma krīt no augšas un kreisās puses — the lamp (is) placed in such a way that the light falls from the top and (from) the left side
- tu centies to pateikt saudzīgi, tā, lai mani nesāpinātu — you try to say it gently, in such a way that it won't hurt me
- indicating consequence, especially with tik (“so (much)”), pārāk (“too much”) and an adjective or participle in the main clause; so that, so ... that, too (much) ... for, to, that
- pie debesīm stāvēja pusmēness, izplatīdams pietiekošu krēslu, lai celiņu uz riju varētu redzēt — on the sky (there) was a half moon, spreading enough light (lit. dawn), so that one could see the little path to the barn
- aitas bijušas tik vājas, lai vējš apgāztu — the sheep were so weak that the wind (would) turn them over
- zemnieki bija pārāk iebaidīti, lai nakts laikā rādītos ārpus mājām — the peasants were too intimidated to show themselves outside during the night
- nebija vēl noadīti tik biezi cimdi, lai tagad, laukā braucot, nesaltu rokas — (one) had not yet knit such thick gloves that, going out now, (one's) hands wouldn't freeze
- used to express an optative (wish) nuance: may, may it be that
- lai dabas spēkus gurds cilvēks veic — may the wise person lead the forces of nature
- lai visas dienas labus vārdus teic — may all days bring (lit. say) good words
- lai viss sils izdegtu! — may the whole (pine) forest burn!
- lai dzīvo! — (long) may he live! hooray!
- tie ir trakāki par baroniem... velns lai viņus parauj! — those (people) are crazier than the barons... may the devil take them!
- used to express encouragement, agreement: let
- ja tu, Zane, nevari, lai paliek šovakar govis neslauktas — if you, Zane, can't (do it), let the cows remain unmilked tonight
- draugi mani atkal uzaicināja medībās: “labi”, es teicu, “lai notiek; bet pēdējo reizi!” — friends invited me again to hunt: “OK,” I said, “let it happen (= I'll go); but (for) the last time!”
- used to mark third person imperative forms of verbs; sometimes used with the first person also: let
- “lai taču viņš iet”, Aina saka; “lai viņš iet, es arī neturēšu viņu, lai iet, lai iet” — “but let him go,” Aina said, “let him go, I also won't keep him, let (him) go, let (him) go”
- lai vēlam putnam laimīgu lidojumu! — let us wish the bird a happy flight!
- used to give a nuance of indecision or doubt, especially in a question should, could
- ko lai viņam saku, kādu padomu lai dodu? — what should I say to him, what advice should I give?
- man vajadzīgs padoms; es nezinu, pie kā cita lai griežos — I need advice; I don't know who else I could turn to (but you)
- es prasu zemei, kur meklēt lai eju — I ask the earth, where should I go to look for (it)?
- (colloquial) used to add strength to a word or expression, to link it more tightly to the rest of the sentence
- Soklēns gribēja savus viesus uzjautrināt ar pajāšanos; segli lai bija iegādāti — Soklēns wanted to cheer his guests up with some (horse) riding; the saddles were even ready (already)
- vasarā, kad būs āboli, vai tad nāksi ciemos? ar medu lai pacienāšu, jā? — during the summer, when there will be apples, maybe then you will come visit? and I will also treat you with honey, yes?
- used to reinforce a word, highlighting it among others
- tūliņ svied tās meijas nost un meklē rīksti rokā! vai lopi līdz vakaram lai kūtī stāv? — throw those boughs away right now and go get your rod! are the animals really going to stay in the barn till night?
- used, sometimes with nu or ir, to indicate tolerance of, or agreement with, someone else
- protams, mājās būs vēl nepatīkamāka saruna, to es zinu pavisam skaidri, bet lai! — of course, at home there will still be an unpleasant talk, I know that very well, and how (= boy do I)!
- “lai nu, lai nu, Birkenbaum,” Grīntāls mierināja — “OK, OK, Birkenbaum,” Grīntāls comforted (him)
- “esi gan tu muļķa meitene”, Karlīne zobojās; “a, lai ir!” Annele spītīgi atcirta — “you are indeed a stupid girl,” Karlīne mocked; “ah, so be it!” Annele snapped angrily back
- lai jau būtu — let it be, so be it
- short for «lu'o la»: indicates that a name follows, and that the speaker means the mass composed of constituents bearing that name
Usage notes 
- A sumti phrase begun with lai can be ended (if necessary) with the elidable terminator ku.
Related terms 
Usage notes 
English transcriptions of Chinese speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Chinese language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.
Maroon Spirit Language 
From English lie.
lai (plural lais)
- lie (intentionally false statement)
Old French 
- lai (Medieval text)
- French: laid
Alternative forms 
Uncertain. Several explanations exist. One derives it from Albanian ljaj, itself possibly from Latin flavus, but this is uncertain, and it may be that the Albanian is derived from Proto-Romanian (or Aromanian- cf. the cognate laiu, lae in this language). Other theories suggest a Romanian root *gălai, from Latin galla or alternatively an etymology from labes (“fault, defect”), extending the meaning to "spot" and hence, "black" or "dark", but as it is a secondary meaning in Latin, this is not very likely. A more likely explanation may be a relation to the verb la (“to wash”), as lai is used mostly to describe the natural color of wool resulting from washing (cf. the similar secondary senses of Spanish crudo, French écru). 
- IPA: [ laj ]
lai 3 nom/acc forms
Etymology 1 
From Latin lacus.
lai m (plural lais)
Alternative forms 
Etymology 2 
From Latin lectus.
lai f (plural lais)