Why was clemency trending last week?


[ley-er] /ˈleɪ ər/
a thickness of some material laid on or spread over a surface:
a layer of soot on the window sill; two layers of paint.
bed; stratum:
alternating layers of basalt and sandstone.
a person or thing that lays:
a carpet layer.
a hen kept for egg production.
one of several items of clothing worn one on top of the other.
  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.
Ropemaking. a machine for laying rope or cable.
verb (used with object)
to make a layer of.
to form or arrange in layers.
to arrange or wear (clothing) in layers:
You can layer this vest over a blouse or sweater.
Horticulture. to propagate by layering.
verb (used without object)
to separate into or form layers.
(of a garment) to permit of wearing in layers; be used in layering:
Frilly blouses don't layer well.
Origin of layer
1350-1400; Middle English leyer, legger. See lay1, -er1
Related forms
layerable, adjective
interlayer, noun
interlayer, verb (used with object)
nonlayered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for layers
  • It also peels away layers of spending that aren't directly related to student learning.
  • There are always new layers of knowledge to be uncovered, deceptions to be overcome, and coherencies to grasp.
  • The outrageous and unjustified salaries of administrators and the addition of layers of administration are the main reasons.
  • Eyes are a specialty-he has illustrated eye surgery with detailed examinations of the layers of cells in the retina.
  • They also wanted to please their supporters politically rather than face this problem and its layers.
  • Yet when you start to peel off the layers of that argument, it seems to have numerous flaws.
  • The nadir, he further explained, had involved an extended metaphor about peeling back the layers of an onion.
  • The indictments in the show trials, and the defendants' coerced statements, have added ever more fanciful layers.
  • Living abroad adds layers of financial complexity to life.
  • Regard the museum as a palimpsest, or exposed layers of sediment.
British Dictionary definitions for layers


a thickness of some homogeneous substance, such as a stratum or a coating on a surface
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
a laying hen
  1. a shoot or branch rooted during layering
  2. a plant produced as a result of layering
to form or make a layer of (something)
to take root or cause to take root by layering
Word Origin
C14 leyer, legger, from lay1 + -er1
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
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Word Origin and History for layers



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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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layers in Medicine

layer lay·er (lā'ər)
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.
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