lie down

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lay down

1. To set or put someone or something down. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "down." I just laid the baby down in the bassinette, so try not to make too much noise. Lay those magazines down on the coffee table, please.
2. To yield, submit, or surrender something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "down." We need to play hard today—these guys aren't just going to lay down their championship title without a fight. Gentlemen, lay down your arms! There's been a truce.
3. To give a directive or order. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "lay" and "down." As the CEO, you lay down the rules for the entire company.
4. To keep or save something for the future. You should lay down part of each paycheck and put it into a retirement fund.
5. To fully recline, as on a bed or couch; to get into a horizontal position. (This is a common misspelling of the proper term "lie down.") I need to lay down—my head is pounding. She said she didn't sleep well last night and went upstairs to lay down.
6. To give up; to quit or surrender. (This is a common misspelling of the proper term "lie down.") Come on, you can beat this disease. You can't just lay down and die!
See also: down, lay

lie down

1. To recline; to be prostrate. (Note: The past tense of this phrase, "lay down," is often mistakenly used as an alternative to the phrase in the present tense.) I'm going to go lie down for a little while. Wake me before dinner, all right? I lay down beneath the shade of the sycamore and watched the rowboats in the canal drift by.
2. To give up; to quit or surrender. Come on, you can beat this disease. You can't just lie down and die! We have to be ready to put everything we've got into this game. The other team's not going to just lie down and let us win, after all!
See also: down, lie
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

lay someone down

to ease someone into a reclining position; to ease someone into bed. The baby woke up when I tried to lay him down. The nurse laid the disturbed patient down time and time again.
See also: down, lay

lay something down (on something)

to place something down on something. Lay the plates down on the table gently. Please lay down your book and listen to me.
See also: down, lay

lay down

to give up. Do you expect me to just lay down? You really think I should just lay down and let them walk all over me?
See also: down, lay

lie down

to recline. Why don't you lie down for a while? I need to lie down and have a little snooze.
See also: down, lie
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

lay down

1. Give something up, surrender, as in They laid down their arms. [c. 1300]
2. Formulate, specify, as in The club laid down new membership rules. [Late 1400s]
3. Also, lay down one's life. Sacrifice one's life, as in He would willingly lay down his life for his children. [c. 1600]
4. Store for the future, as in It was a great vintage year for burgundy, and Mark laid down several cases. [Early 1800s] Also see lay aside, def. 2.
See also: down, lay

lie down

Also, lie down on the job. Be remiss or lazy. For example, They fired Max because he was always lying down on the job. This expression alludes to lying down in the sense of "resting." [Early 1900s]
See also: down, lie
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.

lay down

v.
1. To put something in a horizontal or lying position: You can lay down the newspaper on the table. Lay the baby down in the crib.
2. To put down some weapon in order to surrender: The militants laid down their weapons. The protesters laid their signs down when the mayor came out to speak to them.
3. To specify something firmly: The first thing the counselor did was to lay down the rules for the campers. The club owner laid the business policies down for the employees.
See also: down, lay

lie down

v.
To place the body in a flat, horizontal position; recline: The dog usually lies down in front of the fireplace. After lunch, I lay down under a tree and fell asleep. I had just lain down when the phone rang.
See also: down, lie
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.

lay down

in. to give up. Do you expect me to just lay down?
See also: down, lay
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
While Clarkson and Langdon do not remember what inspired their beginning, some believe the video for Radiohead song Just from 1995 to be the beginning where a man lies down on a road, ignoring the surrounded crowd – and by the end, everyone lie down together.
"Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him."