lay (something) at (one's) door(redirected from lays at door)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.
lay (something) at (one's) door
To assign blame or responsibility to one for something. The mayor wasn't directly involved, but the voters are going to lay this scandal at his door. We're short-staffed, so my boss is laying a lot of random stuff at my door.
lay something at someone's doorand put something at someone's door
1. Fig. to blame a problem on someone; to hold someone responsible for something. (Alludes to someone laying incriminating evidence at the door of a guilty person, perhaps in the night.) I'm laying responsibility for this mess at your door! Don't put this at my door!
2. Fig. to give or assign a problem to someone for solving. I am going to lay this problem right at your door. You are the one who can settle it. I will put this business at your door and hope you can do something about it.
lay at someone's door
Impute or lay the blame on someone; make someone responsible for something (usually discreditable). For example, That this law failed to pass can be laid at your door, Senator. [c. 1700]
lay something at someone's door
COMMON If you lay something at someone's door, you blame them for it. The paper says the blame for the riot must be laid at the door of the government. The robberies were now laid at Brady's door.
lay something at someone's doorregard or name someone as responsible for something.
This phrase may have arisen from the practice of leaving an illegitimate baby on the doorstep of the man who was identified as its father.