lay (oneself) out

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lay (oneself) out

To put in a great deal of effort; to inconvenience oneself or go through a lot of trouble. I don't know why I always lay myself out to impress your parents—they never appreciate what I do anyway. Your brother and sister really laid themselves out to make your party special, so it would be nice if you showed a little appreciation.
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lay someone out

 
1. Sl. to knock someone down with a punch; to knock someone unconscious. Tom laid out Bill with one punch to the chin. The policeman laid the thief out.
2. to prepare a corpse for burial or for a wake. They laid out their uncle for the wake. The women of the community used to lay their dead out.
3. Sl. to scold someone severely. Don't lay me out! I didn't do it! She really laid out the guy but good. What did he do, rob a bank?
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lay something out

 
1. Lit. to spread something out. The nurse laid the instruments out for the operation. The valet laid out the clothing for his employer.
2. Fig. to explain a plan of action or a sequence of events. Let me lay it out for you. Lay out the plan very carefully, and don't skip anything.
3. Fig. to spend some amount of money. I can't lay that kind of money out every day! She laid out about $24,000 for that car.
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lay out

1. Make a detailed plan, design, or explanation, as in They laid out the exact dimensions in order to construct the new display, or Robert laid out next year's plans for his staff. [Mid-1700s]
2. Prepare a dead body for burial, as in He died that morning and was laid out for the wake by afternoon. [Late 1500s]
3. Rebuke harshly, as in She laid me out for breaking the vase. [Slang; late 1800s]
4. Knock unconscious or to the ground, render helpless, as in He laid him out with one good punch. [Late 1800s]
5. Expend, spend, as in She laid out a fortune on jewelry. [Mid-1400s]
6. Display or arrange, especially in a particular order, as in He asked her to lay out the merchandise in an attractive way. [Mid-1400s]
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lay out

v.
1. To make something explicit, especially an idea or plan: Let me lay out my ideas for our next move. The architect laid the plans out for the new building.
2. To clothe and prepare someone who is dead for burial: The funeral home laid the body out for visitation. The mortician laid out the body for the family to view.
3. To rebuke someone harshly: She laid me out for breaking the vase. The coach laid out the team for its mistakes.
4. To knock someone to the ground, especially to knock someone unconscious: She laid him out with an unexpected punch in the gut. The police officer laid out the attacker with a swift kick.
5. To expend something; spend something: The rich couple laid out a fortune on jewelry for the wedding. We can't lay that much money out without more information.
6. To put something on display: It's time to lay out the merchandise for the new season. Every day the jeweler lays the watches out in the display case.
See also: lay, out