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[wey-ley, wey-ley] /ˈweɪˌleɪ, weɪˈleɪ/
verb (used with object), waylaid, waylaying.
to intercept or attack from ambush, as in order to rob, seize, or slay.
to await and accost unexpectedly:
The actor was waylaid by a swarm of admirers.
Origin of waylay
1505-15; way1 + lay1, after Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen to lie in wait, derivative of wegelage a lying in wait
Related forms
waylayer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for waylay


verb (transitive) -lays, -laying, -laid
to lie in wait for and attack
to await and intercept unexpectedly
Derived Forms
waylayer, noun
Word Origin
C16: from way + lay1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for waylay

"to ambush," 1510s, from way + lay (v.), on model of Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen "besetting of ways, lying in wait with evil or hostile intent along public ways."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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