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Related to lay on: Lay on the table
lay (something) on (someone or something)
1. To set or put something down on a particular surface. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "on." Lay those magazines on the coffee table, please.
2. To physically place something on someone or something If you lay the baby's favorite blanket on her, she should stop crying.
3. To tell someone something. OK, lay it on me—what did your mother do this time?
4. To impose or foist something on someone or something. You made that decision all on your own, so you can't lay that one on me. My parents are always laying their expectations on me—it's so frustrating.
5. To strike or attack someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun does not have to be used between "lay" and "on." If you come any closer, my men will lay on!
6. To change one's behavior in some way. Why are you laying the compliments on so thick? You must want something from me.
7. To prepare or ready something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun does not have to be used between "lay" and "on." Do you think you can lay on some more hors d'oeuvres for our unexpected guests?
lay something on someone or something
to place something on someone or something; to cover someone or something with something. As soon as he breathed his last, the nurse laid a cloth on him. Ken laid the bundle of flowers on the coffee table.
lay something on someone
1. Sl. to present a plan or an idea to someone. Here is this century's greatest idea. Let me lay it on you. I'm going to lay a great idea on you.
2. Sl. to attempt to make someone feel guilty about something. Don't lay that stuff on me. Face your own problem. Every week she calls up to lay a guilt trip on me about something or other.
3. Go to lay something on someone or something.
lay something on
to supply something in abundance. Look at him lay that butter on! What do you suppose the insides of his arteries look like? They laid on a beautiful buffet lunch.
1. Cover with, apply; also, use. For example, He decided to lay on a second coat of primer, or She laid on a thick Southern accent. [c. 1600] Also see lay it on thick.
2. Inflict blows, attack, as in "Lay on, Macduff; and damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'" (Shakespeare, Macbeth, 5:8). [Early 1200s]
3. Impose or cast something on someone, as in The government laid a tax on landholders, or Dad had a way of laying the guilt for his shortcomings on his partners. This usage is also found in lay or put the blame on someone , as in Nancy could always find someone to lay the blame on, or Jerry put the blame on Bill. [1300s]
1. To place or spread something on a flat surface: I laid my notebooks on my desk and sat down to work.
2. To apply some modification to appearance or behavior: The concierge laid on a strong French accent to fool us. She laid the charm on pretty thick, but I saw through it.
3. To prepare something, usually in an elaborate fashion; arrange something: The caterers laid on cocktails for 50 guests at the last minute.
4. Slang To present or reveal something to someone thoroughly or heavily; confront someone with something: He laid his standard questions on them. The reviewer certainly laid on the criticism, didn't she? I want to know everything that happened, so lay it on me.