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lay (something) for (someone or something)
To prepare something, especially a trap, for someone, some group, or an animal. I'll lay a snare for a rabbit in case you can't catch anything bigger with that rifle of yours. The police have laid a trap for the criminals.
lay for (someone or something)
old-fashioned To await someone or something from a concealed position, especially to attack or accost them or it. The thief had been laying for us in the bushes outside our front door.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lay something for someone or something
to prepare something (for a meal) for the benefit of someone or a group. She laid a lovely picnic for the two of them. Would you lay the table for dinner for our guests?
lay for someone or something
to lie in wait for someone or something. The sheriff was laying for the outlaw. Bill was laying for me when I came out of the saloon.
Be waiting to attack; also, lie in wait for, as in The gang members were laying for him in that dark alley, or The reporters were laying for the Vice President when he came out of the meeting. [Late 1400s]
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.
To be waiting to attack someone: Muggers were laying for the unsuspecting pedestrian in the dark alley.
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.