lay out

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

to lay + out

Verb[edit]

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

  1. to expend
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, book 2, ch. X, Government
      There are but two ways of paying debt: increase of industry in raising income, increase of thrift in laying it out.
  2. to arrange in a certain way
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 230b.
      Because his opinions are all over the place, they find it easy to scrutinise them and lay them out;
  3. (transitive) to concoct; think up
    • 1884: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapter VII
      It was about dark now; so I dropped the canoe down the river under some willows that hung over the bank, and waited for the moon to rise. I made fast to a willow; then I took a bite to eat, and by and by laid down in the canoe to smoke a pipe and lay out a plan.
  4. To prepare a body for burial.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 28
      So that no white sailor seriously contradicted him when he said that if ever Captain Ahab should be tranquilly laid out— which might hardly come to pass, so he muttered—then, whoever should do that last office for the dead, would find a birth-mark on him from crown to sole.
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 6
      The family was alone in the parlour with the great polished box. William, when laid out, was six feet four inches long. Like a monument lay the bright brown, ponderous coffin.
  5. (colloquial) To render [someone] unconscious; to knock out; to cause to fall to the floor.
  6. (intransitive, US colloquial) To lie in the sunshine.

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