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[oh-ver-lahy-ing] /ˌoʊ vərˈlaɪ ɪŋ/
present participle of overlie.


[oh-ver-lahy] /ˌoʊ vərˈlaɪ/
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.
Origin of overlie
1125-75; Middle English overlien, overliggen. See over-, lie2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for overlying
  • Extraction proceeds by drilling through the overlying sedimentary rock into the granite.
  • The resulting reduction in pressure in the rift allows magma to be forced upward by the weight of the overlying crust and mantle.
  • The pressure changes deform the overlying rocks, possibly jarring certain faults into action.
  • Kilometres of overlying water make it harder to see what would be lost in the deep sea.
  • They might snag on the overlying plate as the crust slides into the mantle, creating occasional bursts of tremors.
  • Water in crust, in minerals, and in any sediments along for the ride is released in to the mantle of the overlying plate.
  • As the overlying plate lifts up, it also forms mountain ranges.
  • Clouds are obscured by the planet's overlying atmosphere, which is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium.
  • In each case, waterspouts require high levels of humidity and a relatively warm water temperature compared to the overlying air.
  • Each one used its their funnel to jet to the ocean surface and bob the top of its shell in the overlying air.
British Dictionary definitions for overlying


verb (transitive) -lies, -lying, -lay, -lain
to lie or rest upon Compare overlay
to kill (a baby or newborn animal) by lying upon it
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 overlying



late 12c., from over- + lie (v.2), or from an unrecorded Old English *oferlicgan. "In use from 12th to 16th c.; in 17-18th displaced by overlay; reintroduced in 19th c., chiefly in geological use." [OED]. Related: Overlay; overlain.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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