lay of the land


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the lay of the land

1. Literally, the physical topography of a particular location or area. See if there's a path to higher ground so that we may view the lay of the land.
2. By extension, the particular state, arrangement, or condition of something; the way a situation exists or has developed. Given the turbulent nature of this market, I think it would be prudent to understand the lay of the land before we agree to invest. I'm thinking about studying business, but I want to visit a few colleges first and check out the lay of the land.
See also: land, lay, of

lay of the land

 
1. Lit. the arrangement of features on an area of land. (Also with lie, especially British English.) The surveyor mapped the lay of the land. The geologist studied the lay of the land, trying to determine if there was oil below.
2. Fig. the arrangement or organization of something other than land. As soon as I get the lay of the land in my new job, things will go better. The company's corporate structure was complex, so understanding the lay of the land took time.
See also: land, lay, of

lay of the land

The nature, arrangement, or disposition of something.
See also: land, lay, of
References in periodicals archive ?
Inside I knew that learning to read the lay of the land certainly was the most deadly weapon that I could ever bring to the woods
1 Note the lay of the land in your yard and the basic drainage pattern.
Regarding the lady whose husband has been offered a job in Dubai, I agree that she and her family should stay at home at least until he has sussed out the lay of the land.
The document showed the lay of the land in the county before Cavaliers and Roundheads tramped their way over the countryside during the English Civil War.
You'd know the whole lay of the land if you reviewed the information we had," Scheuer told the Daily News.
We're due for some change in the lay of the land and right now we don't know what that change will be and how it will play into the economy,'' Karevoll said.
I've already lived there for three months and I have the lay of the land.
The main dashboard gives me a full view of the lay of the land so I can see exactly where all the network problems are.
Hart Union High School District campus as both parents and staff learned the lay of the land.
No more than 4,500 residences will be part of the neighborhoods that follow the natural lay of the land.
Lay of the land This long, horseshoe-shaped hole wraps around a wetlands hidden from the tee.
This first chapter, then, is primarily about getting the lay of the land, its many inhabitants and the tormented history that comes down to try their souls in the form of a deceptively ordinary-looking piece of jewelry.
Siemantel explained that structure is basically the lay of the land if it were drained.