1 [v. oh-ver-ley; n. oh-ver-ley]
verb (used with object), overlaid, overlaying.
to lay or place (one thing) over or upon another.
to cover, overspread, or surmount with something.
to finish with a layer or applied decoration of something: wood richly overlaid with gold.
Printing. to put an overlay upon.
something laid over something else; covering.
a layer or decoration of something applied: an overlay of gold.
a shaped piece of paper, or a sheet of paper reinforced at the proper places by shaped pieces, put on the tympan of a press to increase or equalize the impression.
a method of preparing copy for multicolor printing, in which matter for each color is prepared on a transparent sheet that is placed over a key plate, usually the one to be printed in black.
the sheet or sheets so prepared.
a sheet of transparent paper placed over a photograph, a dummy, or other artwork for noting corrections, instructions, mechanical separations, etc.
Computers. software or data in external storage and brought into main storage for execution by replacing or augmenting software or data already there.
a transparent sheet giving special military information not ordinarily shown on maps, used by being placed over the map on which it is based.
a decorative piece of leather or other material stitched on a shoe.
Scot. a cravat.

1250–1300; Middle English; see over-, lay1

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2 [oh-ver-ley]
simple past tense of overlie.


verb (used with object), overlay, overlain, overlying.
to lie over or upon, as a covering or stratum.
to smother (an infant) by lying upon it, as in sleep.

1125–75; Middle English overlien, overliggen. See over-, lie2

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vb , -lays, -laying, -laid
1.  to lay or place something over or upon (something else)
2.  (often foll by with) to cover, overspread, or conceal (with)
3.  (foll by with) to cover (a surface) with an applied decoration: ebony overlaid with silver
4.  to achieve the correct printing pressure all over (a forme or plate) by adding to the appropriate areas of the packing
5.  something that is laid over something else; covering
6.  an applied decoration or layer, as of gold leaf
7.  a transparent sheet giving extra details to a map or diagram over which it is designed to be placed
8.  printing material, such as paper, used to overlay a forme or plate

overlie (ˌəʊvəˈlaɪ)
vb , -lies, -lying, -lay, -lain
1.  Compare overlay to lie or rest upon
2.  to kill (a baby or newborn animal) by lying upon it

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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Word Origin & History

"to cover the surface of (something)," c.1300, from over + lay (q.v.). There also was an overlie (c.1175), but it had been merged into this word by 18c. The noun in the printing sense is attested from 1824; meaning "transparent sheet over a map, chart, etc." is from 1938.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Overlay back boards so they are flush and square with bottom of crosspiece and
  aligned on marks drawn on boards.
Never for an instant does it incrust the business,-as the rhetorician would
  do,-nor ever overlay it with decoration.
The underneath layer was a solid blue material, and it had a sheer blue overlay.
The astonishing thing is you do not even need to overlay real bars-even
  illusory ones will do.
Images for overlay
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