follow Dictionary.com

Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs

layer

[ley-er] /ˈleɪ ər/
noun
1.
a thickness of some material laid on or spread over a surface:
a layer of soot on the window sill; two layers of paint.
2.
bed; stratum:
alternating layers of basalt and sandstone.
3.
a person or thing that lays:
a carpet layer.
4.
a hen kept for egg production.
5.
one of several items of clothing worn one on top of the other.
6.
Horticulture.
  1. a shoot or twig that is induced to root while still attached to the living stock, as by bending and covering with soil.
  2. a plant so propagated.
7.
Ropemaking. a machine for laying rope or cable.
verb (used with object)
8.
to make a layer of.
9.
to form or arrange in layers.
10.
to arrange or wear (clothing) in layers:
You can layer this vest over a blouse or sweater.
11.
Horticulture. to propagate by layering.
verb (used without object)
12.
to separate into or form layers.
13.
(of a garment) to permit of wearing in layers; be used in layering:
Frilly blouses don't layer well.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English leyer, legger. See lay1, -er1
Related forms
layerable, adjective
interlayer, noun
interlayer, verb (used with object)
nonlayered, adjective

lay3

[ley] /leɪ/
adjective
1.
belonging to, pertaining to, or performed by the people or laity, as distinguished from the clergy:
a lay sermon.
2.
not belonging to, connected with, or proceeding from a profession, especially the law or medicine.
Origin
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French lai < Medieval Latin lāicus laic
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for layer
  • Meanwhile, a team of researchers recently said it found an oily layer as thick as two inches coating the seafloor.
  • Melted snow that refreezes may cause a slick coating of ice to form on the surface of a layer.
  • The layer was dated by a technique called optically stimulated luminescence.
  • As the ship moves forward, the layer of air slides back and out from under the hull.
  • The active layer of permafrost, the uppermost ground layer, thaws in the summer and freezes in the winter.
  • It seems there's finally some good news for the ozone layer.
  • Visitors to this area often enjoy digging for selenite crystals in the ground beneath the crusty layer of salt.
  • The layer of glacial debris left behind on the ocean floor was covered by another layer of carbonate.
  • Set bottom layer on a platter, then spread with half of frosting.
  • Mine said she could have removed each piece with a needle, as opposed to the whole layer of skin.
British Dictionary definitions for layer

layer

/ˈleɪə/
noun
1.
a thickness of some homogeneous substance, such as a stratum or a coating on a surface
2.
one of four or more levels of vegetation defined in ecological studies: the ground or moss layer, the field or herb layer, the shrub layer, and one or more tree layers
3.
a laying hen
4.
(horticulture)
  1. a shoot or branch rooted during layering
  2. a plant produced as a result of layering
verb
5.
to form or make a layer of (something)
6.
to take root or cause to take root by layering
Word Origin
C14 leyer, legger, from lay1 + -er1

lay1

/leɪ/
verb (mainly transitive) lays, laying, laid (leɪd)
1.
to put in a low or horizontal position; cause to lie: to lay a cover on a bed
2.
to place, put, or be in a particular state or position: he laid his finger on his lips
3.
(intransitive) (not standard) to be in a horizontal position; lie: he often lays in bed all the morning
4.
(sometimes foll by down) to establish as a basis: to lay a foundation for discussion
5.
to place or dispose in the proper position: to lay a carpet
6.
to arrange (a table) for eating a meal
7.
to prepare (a fire) for lighting by arranging fuel in the grate
8.
(also intransitive) (of birds, esp the domestic hen) to produce (eggs)
9.
to present or put forward: he laid his case before the magistrate
10.
to impute or attribute: all the blame was laid on him
11.
to arrange, devise, or prepare: to lay a trap
12.
to place, set, or locate: the scene is laid in London
13.
to apply on or as if on a surface: to lay a coat of paint
14.
to impose as a penalty or burden: to lay a fine
15.
to make (a bet) with (someone): I lay you five to one on Prince
16.
to cause to settle: to lay the dust
17.
to allay; suppress: to lay a rumour
18.
to bring down forcefully: to lay a whip on someone's back
19.
(slang) to have sexual intercourse with
20.
(slang) to bet on (a horse) to lose a race
21.
to press down or make smooth: to lay the nap of cloth
22.
to cut (small trunks or branches of shrubs or trees) halfway through and bend them diagonally to form a hedge: to lay a hedge
23.
to arrange and twist together (strands) in order to form (a rope, cable, etc)
24.
(military) to apply settings of elevation and training to (a weapon) prior to firing
25.
(foll by on) (hunting) to put (hounds or other dogs) onto a scent
26.
another word for inlay
27.
(intransitive; often foll by to or out) (dialect or informal) to plan, scheme, or devise
28.
(intransitive) (nautical) to move or go, esp into a specified position or direction: to lay close to the wind
29.
(nautical) lay aboard, (formerly) to move alongside a warship to board it
30.
lay a course
  1. (nautical) to sail on a planned course without tacking
  2. to plan an action
31.
lay bare, to reveal or explain: he laid bare his plans
32.
lay hands on, See hands (sense 12)
33.
lay hold of, to seize or grasp
34.
lay oneself open, to make oneself vulnerable (to criticism, attack, etc): by making such a statement he laid himself open to accusations of favouritism
35.
lay open, to reveal or disclose
36.
lay siege to, to besiege (a city, etc)
noun
37.
the manner or position in which something lies or is placed
38.
(taboo, slang)
  1. an act of sexual intercourse
  2. a sexual partner
39.
a portion of the catch or the profits from a whaling or fishing expedition
40.
the amount or direction of hoist in the strands of a rope
Usage note
In careful English, the verb lay is used with an object and lie without one: the soldier laid down his arms; the Queen laid a wreath; the book was lying on the table; he was lying on the floor. In informal English, lay is frequently used for lie: the book was laying on the table. All careful writers and speakers observe the distinction even in informal contexts
Word Origin
Old English lecgan; related to Gothic lagjan, Old Norse leggja

lay2

/leɪ/
adjective
1.
of, involving, or belonging to people who are not clergy
2.
nonprofessional or nonspecialist; amateur
Word Origin
C14: from Old French lai, from Late Latin lāicus, ultimately from Greek laos people

lay3

/leɪ/
noun
1.
a ballad or short narrative poem, esp one intended to be sung
2.
a song or melody
Word Origin
C13: from Old French lai, perhaps of Germanic origin

lay4

/leɪ/
verb
1.
the past tense of lie2
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for layer
n.

late 14c., "one who or that lays" (especially stones, "a mason"), agent noun from lay (v.). Passive sense of "that which is laid over a surface" first recorded 1610s, but because earliest English use was in cookery, this is perhaps from French liue "binding," used of a thickened sauce. Layer cake attested from 1881.

v.

1832, from layer (n.). Related: Layered; layering.

lay

v.

Old English lecgan "to place on the ground (or other surface)," also "put down (often by striking)," from Proto-Germanic *lagjanan (cf. Old Saxon leggian, Old Norse leggja, Old Frisian ledza, Middle Dutch legghan, Dutch leggen, Old High German lecken, German legen, Gothic lagjan "to lay, put, place"), causative of lie (v.2). As a noun, from 1550s, "act of laying." Meaning "way in which something is laid" (e.g. lay of the land) first recorded 1819.

Meaning "have sex with" first recorded 1934, in U.S. slang, probably from sense of "deposit" (which was in Old English, as in lay an egg, lay a bet, etc.), perhaps reinforced by to lie with, a phrase frequently met in the Bible. The noun meaning "woman available for sexual intercourse" is attested from 1930, but there are suggestions of it in stage puns from as far back as 1767. To lay for (someone) "await a chance at revenge" is from late 15c.; lay low "stay inconspicuous" is from 1839. To lay (someone) low preserves the secondary Old English sense.

adj.

"uneducated; non-clerical," early 14c., from Old French lai "secular, not of the clergy" (Modern French laïque), from Late Latin laicus, from Greek laikos "of the people," from laos "people," of unknown origin. In Middle English, contrasted with learned, a sense revived 1810 for "non-expert."

n.

"short song," mid-13c., from Old French lai "song, lyric," of unknown origin, perhaps from Celtic (cf. Irish laid "song, poem," Gaelic laoidh "poem, verse, play") because the earliest verses so called were Arthurian ballads, but OED finds this "out of the question" and prefers a theory which traces it to a Germanic source, cf. Old High German leich "play, melody, song."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
layer in Medicine

layer lay·er (lā'ər)
n.
A single thickness of a material covering a surface or forming an overlying part or segment. v. lay·ered, lay·er·ing, lay·ers
To divide or form into layers.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for layer

lay

noun
  1. A person regarded merely as a sex partner or object: The two girls looked like swell lays/ She's a great lay (1932+)
  2. A sex act; piece of ass: Anyone who is looking for an easy lay (1936+)
verb
  1. : five cadets who swore they'd all laid the girl one night (1934+)
  2. To bet: I laid her six to one he wouldn't show up (1300+)
Related Terms

easy make


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
layer in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with layer
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for layer

lay

in medieval French literature, a short romance, usually written in octosyllabic verse, that dealt with subjects thought to be of Celtic origin. The earliest lay narratives were written in the 12th century by Marie De France; her works were largely based on earlier Breton versions thought to have been derived from Celtic legend. The Breton lay, a 14th-century English poetic form based on these lays, is exemplified by "The Franklin's Tale" in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

Learn more about lay with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for layer

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for layer

8
8
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with layer

Nearby words for layer