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From Middle English leyer, leyare (a layer of stones or bricks), equivalent to lay +‎ -er.



layer (plural layers)

  1. A single thickness of some material covering a surface.
    Wrap the loaf in two layers of aluminum foil before putting it in the oven.
    After the first coat of paint dried, he applied another layer.
    1. An item of clothing worn under or over another.
      It's cold now but it will warm up this afternoon. Make sure you wear layers.
  2. A (usually) horizontal deposit; a stratum.
    I find seven-layer cake a bit too rich.
  3. A person who lays things, such as tiles.
  4. A mature female bird, insect, etc. that is able to lay eggs.
    When dealing with an infestation of headlice, the first step is to eliminate the layers.
  5. A hen kept to lay eggs.
  6. A shoot of a plant, laid underground for growth.


Derived terms[edit]



layer (third-person singular simple present layers, present participle layering, simple past and past participle layered)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) to cut or divide (something) into layers
  2. (transitive, intransitive) to arrange (something) in layers.
    Layer the ribbons on top of one another to make an attractive pattern.


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