the lay of the land


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Related to the lay of the land: the lie of the land

the lay of the land

1. Literally, the physical topography of a particular location or area. See if there's a path to higher ground so that we may view the lay of the land.
2. By extension, the particular state, arrangement, or condition of something; the way a situation exists or has developed. Given the turbulent nature of this market, I think it would be prudent to understand the lay of the land before we agree to invest. I'm thinking about studying business, but I want to visit a few colleges first and check out the lay of the land.
See also: land, lay, of

lay of the land

 
1. Lit. the arrangement of features on an area of land. (Also with lie, especially British English.) The surveyor mapped the lay of the land. The geologist studied the lay of the land, trying to determine if there was oil below.
2. Fig. the arrangement or organization of something other than land. As soon as I get the lay of the land in my new job, things will go better. The company's corporate structure was complex, so understanding the lay of the land took time.
See also: land, lay, of

the lay of the land

or

the lie of the land

The lay of the land or the lie of the land, is the basic facts of a situation. With the legal lay of the land unclear, many company executives decided not to talk directly to shareholders. I thought it would be better to ring first and see how things were. Check the lie of the land.
See also: land, lay, of

lay of the land

The nature, arrangement, or disposition of something.
See also: land, lay, of
References in periodicals archive ?
One finishes The Lay of the Land feeling ready to sell a termite-bitten tool shed to a shipping magnate.
Like a good feast, there are some wonderful side dishes in The Lay of the Land.
No stranger to the nation's capital, International Franchise Association Chairman Lawrence "Doc" Cohen nevertheless felt the need to get a closer look at the lay of the land between 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and Capitol Hill where he'll lead a charge of franchising-community activists coming to Washington, D.
The teacher showed us how maps record not only the lay of the land, but the human experience on it.
When I put this in perspective with the fact that the widely varied vegetation of the area (which also affected deer movement) grew where it did because of the terrain, I got an even greater appreciation for the importance of the lay of the land.
This updated second edition includes over twenty new locations and clear details on what's provided, what to bring, and the lay of the land.
I've followed them since Chee was a pup learning the lay of the land from Leaphorn.
But slavery became more pronounced in the South because the soils, the lay of the land, and the climate there made toil more uncomfortable and slave labor more economically viable than in the North.
As Guam natives, their familiarity with the lay of the land and working relationship with industry partners from the area contributed to the success of our mission," said Lowe.