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1. To set or put someone or something down. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "down." I just laid the baby down in the bassinette, so try not to make too much noise. Lay those magazines down on the coffee table, please.
2. To yield, submit, or surrender something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "down." We need to play hard today—these guys aren't just going to lay down their championship title without a fight. Gentlemen, lay down your arms! There's been a truce.
3. To give a directive or order. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "down." As the CEO, you lay down the rules for the entire company.
4. To keep or save something for the future. You should lay down part of each paycheck and put it into a retirement fund.
5. To fully recline, as on a bed or couch; to get into a horizontal position. (This is a common misspelling of the proper term "lie down.") I need to lay down—my head is pounding. She said she didn't sleep well last night and went upstairs to lay down.
6. To give up; to quit or surrender. (This is a common misspelling of the proper term "lie down.") Come on, you can beat this disease. You can't just lay down and die!
1. To recline; to be prostrate. (Note: The past tense of this phrase, "lay down," is often mistakenly used as an alternative to the phrase in the present tense.) I'm going to go lie down for a little while. Wake me before dinner, all right? I lay down beneath the shade of the sycamore and watched the rowboats in the canal drift by.
2. To give up; to quit or surrender. Come on, you can beat this disease. You can't just lie down and die! We have to be ready to put everything we've got into this game. The other team's not going to just lie down and let us win, after all!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lay someone down
to ease someone into a reclining position; to ease someone into bed. The baby woke up when I tried to lay him down. The nurse laid the disturbed patient down time and time again.
lay something down (on something)
to place something down on something. Lay the plates down on the table gently. Please lay down your book and listen to me.
to give up. Do you expect me to just lay down? You really think I should just lay down and let them walk all over me?
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Give something up, surrender, as in They laid down their arms. [c. 1300]
2. Formulate, specify, as in The club laid down new membership rules. [Late 1400s]
3. Also, lay down one's life. Sacrifice one's life, as in He would willingly lay down his life for his children. [c. 1600]
4. Store for the future, as in It was a great vintage year for burgundy, and Mark laid down several cases. [Early 1800s] Also see lay aside, def. 2.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. To put something in a horizontal or lying position: You can lay down the newspaper on the table. Lay the baby down in the crib.
2. To put down some weapon in order to surrender: The militants laid down their weapons. The protesters laid their signs down when the mayor came out to speak to them.
3. To specify something firmly: The first thing the counselor did was to lay down the rules for the campers. The club owner laid the business policies down for the employees.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
in. to give up. Do you expect me to just lay down?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.