inlay

[v. in-ley, in-ley; n. in-ley]
verb (used with object), inlaid, inlaying.
1.
to decorate (an object) with layers of fine materials set in its surface: to inlay a chest with lighter wood.
2.
to insert or apply (layers of fine materials) in the surface of an object: to inlay marble in a tabletop.
3.
Horticulture. to place (a fitted scion) into a prepared stock, as in a method of grafting.
noun
4.
inlaid work.
5.
a layer of fine material inserted in something else, especially for ornament.
6.
a design or decoration made by inlaying.
7.
Dentistry. a filling of metal, porcelain, or the like, that is first shaped to fit a cavity and then cemented into it.
8.
Horticulture, inlay graft.
9.
the act or process of inlaying.

Origin:
1590–1600; in-1 + lay1

inlayer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
inlay
 
vb , -lays, -laying, -laid
1.  to decorate (an article, esp of furniture, or a surface) by inserting pieces of wood, ivory, etc, into prepared slots in the surface
 
n
2.  dentistry a filling, made of gold, porcelain, etc, inserted into a cavity and held in position by cement
3.  decoration made by inlaying
4.  an inlaid article, surface, etc
 
'inlaid
 
adj
 
'inlayer
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

inlay in·lay (ĭn'lā', ĭn-lā')
n.

  1. A solid filling, as of gold or porcelain, fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.

  2. A graft of bone, skin, or other tissue.

  3. An orthomechanical device inserted into a shoe.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

inlay

in the visual arts, any decorative technique used to create an ornamental design, pattern, or scene by inserting or setting into a shallow or depressed ground or surface a material of a different colour or type. Inlay techniques are used in enamelwork, furniture decoration, lacquerwork, and metalwork. Although not strictly inlay, marquetry and boulle work are often included techniques. Veneering is also closely allied.

Learn more about inlay with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The area rug in this outdoor living room is actually brick inlay.
Aptly named, the palace features a white marble exterior and a multicolored
  marble inlay for the floor of the interior.
As each piece is handcrafted, exact colors and patterns of the inlay may vary.
They are best approached as freestanding shaped paintings made of stained wood
  inlay.
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