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1. To put something down in its former position. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lay" and "back." Please lay the dress back the way it was on the bed. I don't want it getting any wrinkles before the ceremony.
2. To cause or help someone to lie, lean, or recline on their back. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lay" and "back." The doctor laid the patient back on the examination table.
3. In sports, especially soccer and rugby, to pass a ball backward to a teammate. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "back." The forward laid the ball back to the midfielder, who belted the ball into the net. She tried to lay back the ball to the scrum-half before being tackled to the ground by number 8 on the opposing team.
4. To lie, lean, or recline on one's back. (In usages 4–6, "lay" is a common and erroneous variant of "lie.") Just lay back on the bed while I go get a damp washcloth for your forehead.
5. To maintain a calm, relaxed, and unperturbed demeanor, especially while waiting for something. Nothing to do now but lay back and wait for our royalty checks to come pouring in.
6. To stay behind and wait before taking action; to hang back. I think we should lay back and see what they do before we go barging in making accusations.
To lean or recline on one's back, as in a chair, sofa, or bed. Just lie back, get comfortable, and tell me what's been on your mind lately. All I want to do this weekend is lie back and read my book.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. calm and relaxed. Willie is not what I would call laid back. You are really one laid-back guy!
2. intoxicated. He's a little laid back and can't come to the phone. How can those guys work when they are laid back by noon?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. mod. calm and relaxed. Sam is not what I would call laid back.
2. mod. alcohol or drug intoxicated. He’s a little laid back and can’t come to the phone.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.