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1. To expose. The investigation has laid open a lot of questions about the campaign. The job fair really laid open some opportunities for me.
2. To make vulnerable to something; to expose to something. Often used in the form "lay (one) open to (something)." These terms of service lay us open to lawsuits, so we need to update them right away.
Expose; also, make vulnerable to. For example, The audit laid open some suspicious dealings, or She had not laid herself open to any charge of wrongdoing. The first usage dates from the mid-1500s, the second from the mid-1800s. Also see leave open.