lay about one

Idioms & Phrases

lay about one

  1. Strike blows on all sides, as in When the dogs cornered the old man, he laid about him with his cane. [Early 1400s]

  2. Act vigorously, make strenuous efforts, as in When there was an opportunity for profit, he laid about him. [c. 1600]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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