lay behind (someone or something)

lay behind (someone or something)

1. To set, rest, or recline someone or something behind someone or something else. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "lay" and "behind." You can lay the bookshelf behind the sofa for the time being. We laid the body behind the shed so it couldn't be seen from the road.
2. To stop focusing on, thinking about, or obsessing over something that happened. You should lay those bad memories behind you and start focusing on the good life you have now. Let's just lay this all behind us and never speak of it again.
3. To be positioned behind something. (In usage 3–5, "lay" is a common and erroneous variant of "lie.") The gym lays behind the school. The star is not visible when it lays behind our moon.
4. To be in someone's or something's past. Don't be concerned about what lays behind you, only what lays ahead. Everything that lays behind us is what makes us who we are—both the good and the bad.
5. To be the underlying cause of, reason for, or motivation behind something. I just don't know what lays behind his anger these days. Many believe it was the government's exorbitant taxes that laid behind the population's uprising.
See also: behind, lay
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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