Word of the Day Archive
Wednesday February 12, 2003
waylay \WAY-lay\ , transitive verb:
1. To lie in wait for and attack from ambush.
2. To approach or stop (someone) unexpectedly.
When his mother praised certain well-behaved and neatly dressed boys in the village, Jung was filled with hate for them, and would waylay and beat them up.
-- Frank McLynn, Carl Gustav Jung
He returned to her night after night, until his brother, Frank, waylaid him one evening outside Harriet's cabin and beat him bloody.
-- Lynne Olson, Freedom's Daughters
Furious and humiliated, the boy waylaid Martha after school.
-- Julian Barnes, England, England
The women, who hold wicker baskets filled with flowers and incense, are out to waylay tourists and to entice them into buying the blooms and scents.
-- Jacob Heilbrunn, "Mao More Than Ever", New Republic, April 21, 1997
Waylay comes from way (from Old English weg) + lay (from Old English lecgan).