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Related to lay on: Lay on the table
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lay (something) on (someone or something)
1. To set or rest something down on someone or something. Lay those magazines on the coffee table, please. If you lay the baby's favorite blanket on her, she should stop crying.
2. To tell someone something. OK, lay it on me—what did your mother do this time?
3. To impose or foist something on someone or something. You made that decision all on your own, so you can't lay that one on me. My parents are always laying their expectations on me—it's so frustrating.
1. To exude an attitude or engage in some form of interaction that is more excessive than one's normal pattern of behavior. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "on." Why are you laying on the charm so thick? You must want something from me. Jenny really lays the flattery on when she's trying to impress the boss.
2. To strike or attack someone. If you come any closer, my men will lay on!
3. To prepare or ready something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "on." Do you think you can lay on some more hors d'oeuvres for our guests?
lie (up)on (someone)
1. To be someone's responsibility or obligation; to be incumbent upon someone. It lies upon the country's government to prioritize the welfare of its citizens above all other concerns. He felt it lay on him to take over the responsibilities of his father's business.
2. To affect one, especially in a profound or oppressive manner. A heavy depression lay upon him for weeks after discovering that his father had been lost at sea.
See also: lie
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
lay something on someone or something
to place something on someone or something; to cover someone or something with something. As soon as he breathed his last, the nurse laid a cloth on him. Ken laid the bundle of flowers on the coffee table.
lay something on someone
1. Sl. to present a plan or an idea to someone. Here is this century's greatest idea. Let me lay it on you. I'm going to lay a great idea on you.
2. Sl. to attempt to make someone feel guilty about something. Don't lay that stuff on me. Face your own problem. Every week she calls up to lay a guilt trip on me about something or other.
3. Go to lay something on someone or something.
lay something on
to supply something in abundance. Look at him lay that butter on! What do you suppose the insides of his arteries look like? They laid on a beautiful buffet lunch.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Cover with, apply; also, use. For example, He decided to lay on a second coat of primer, or She laid on a thick Southern accent. [c. 1600] Also see lay it on thick.
2. Inflict blows, attack, as in "Lay on, Macduff; and damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'" (Shakespeare, Macbeth, 5:8). [Early 1200s]
3. Impose or cast something on someone, as in The government laid a tax on landholders, or Dad had a way of laying the guilt for his shortcomings on his partners. This usage is also found in lay or put the blame on someone , as in Nancy could always find someone to lay the blame on, or Jerry put the blame on Bill. [1300s]
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 place or spread something on a flat surface: I laid my notebooks on my desk and sat down to work.
2. To apply some modification to appearance or behavior: The concierge laid on a strong French accent to fool us. She laid the charm on pretty thick, but I saw through it.
3. To prepare something, usually in an elaborate fashion; arrange something: The caterers laid on cocktails for 50 guests at the last minute.
4. Slang To present or reveal something to someone thoroughly or heavily; confront someone with something: He laid his standard questions on them. The reviewer certainly laid on the criticism, didn't she? I want to know everything that happened, so lay it on me.
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.