lie before (someone or something)

(redirected from lay before him)

lie before (someone or something)

1. To physically exist in front or ahead of someone or something. As we trudged through the desert, it looked as though a magnificent oasis lay before us, but it was just a mirage, some accursed trick of the sun. Some worrisome footprints lie before our front door—I hope we've not been burgled!
2. To be or exist in the future of someone or something. One should never presume to know what may lie before them, as life is far often more fickle than that.
See also: before, lie

lay something before someone

 
1. Lit. to present something to someone. The cat laid the mouse before her mistress. Dave laid the present before her as a peace offering.
2. Fig. to present something for someone to judge. All you can do is lay the matter before the teacher and hope for a favorable response. I want to lay this before you and let you decide.
See also: before, lay
References in classic literature ?
Thoughts of the hideous pack which tenanted the ship induced cold tremors along the spine of the cowardly prowler; but life itself depended upon the success of his venture, and so he was enabled to steel himself to the frightful chances which lay before him.
Tarzan dreamed of the happy homecoming which lay before him, of dear arms about his neck, and a soft cheek pressed to his; but there rose to dispel that dream the memory of the old witch-doctor and his warning.