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1. verb Of an illness or injury, to cause someone to have to convalesce. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "up." Man, that cold laid me up for a week—all I did was sleep.
2. verb To obtain and stock something to keep in reserve. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "up." If I'm going to have 50 kids in my house next week, I better lay up a supply of paper towels now!
3. verb To damage (a ship, typically). A noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "up." A collision will lay your ship up for days, if not longer.
4. verb To dock a vessel to repair damage. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "up." You need to lay that boat up and fix the sail.
5. verb To intentionally restrict one's golf swing, as to avoid an obstacle. I laid up so that I wouldn't hit the rogue golf cart.
6. noun In basketball, a shot made when a player is close to the basket, often by banking the ball off the backboard. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. The other team's defensive breakdown allowed me to score an easy layup.
[of people or things] immobilized for recuperation or repairs. I was laid up for two weeks after my accident. My car is laid up for repairs. I was laid up with the flu for a week.
1. Also, sick in bed. Ill and confined to bed, as in I was laid up for a week with the flu, or Sally can't come outside; she's sick in bed. [Mid-1500s]
2. Put in a safe place, as in The ship was laid up in dock with engine trouble, or The hikers were laid up in a cave during the storm. [Mid-1600s] Also see under lay in; lay someone low.