British. (on a road or railroad) a place beside the main road or track where vehicles may wait.
Nautical. a mooring place in a narrow river or canal, formed to one side so as to leave the channel free.

1795–1805; noun use of verb phrase lay by Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  (Brit) a place for drivers to stop at the side of a main road
2.  nautical an anchorage in a narrow waterway, away from the channel
3.  a small railway siding where rolling stock may be stored or parked
4.  (Austral), (NZ), (South African) a system of payment whereby a buyer pays a deposit on an article, which is reserved for him until he has paid the full price
5.  (tr) to set aside or save for future needs
6.  Also: lay to to cause (a sailing vessel) to stop in open water or (of a sailing vessel) to stop

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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