lying


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lie before (someone or something)

1. To physically exist in front or ahead of someone or something. As we trudged through the desert, it looked as though a magnificent oasis lay before us, but it was just a mirage, some accursed trick of the sun. Some worrisome footprints lie before our front door—I hope we've not been burgled!
2. To be or exist in the future of someone or something. One should never presume to know what may lie before them, as life is far often more fickle than that.
See also: before, lie

lie at (one's) door

To be one's responsibility. Typically said of something negative. I'm the coach, and I called a bad play, so any blame for this loss lies at my door.
See also: door, lie

lie ahead of (someone or something)

1. To be physically located in front or ahead of someone or something. As we trudged through the desert, it looked as though a magnificent oasis lay ahead of us, but it was just a mirage, some accursed trick of the sun. The mountains lie ahead of a vast prairieland.
2. To be or exist in the future of someone or something. One should never presume to know what may lie ahead of them.
See also: ahead, lie, of

lie at the bottom of (something)

To be the fundamental cause of something. Stubbornness lies at the bottom of every unresolved disagreement.
See also: bottom, lie, of

lie behind (someone or something)

1. To be positioned behind someone or something. The gym lies behind the school.
2. To be in the past. Don't be concerned about what lies behind you, only what lies ahead. Everything that lies behind us is what makes us who we are—the good and the bad.
See also: behind, lie

lie down on the job

To not work as hard as one should; to shirk one's responsibilities. If you lie down on the job again, you can be sure you'll be fired—there are plenty of guys who'd take your place in a minute.
See also: down, job, lie, on

lie doggo

To be unseen. I couldn't find that picture because it had been lying doggo behind some boxes.
See also: doggo, lie

lie in wait

To await someone or something from a concealed position. When I'm walking alone at night, I'm always worried that attackers are just lying in wait for me.
See also: lie, wait

lie through (one's) teeth

To lie brazenly and unabashedly. Stop lying through your teeth—we have evidence that you were here the night of the crime.
See also: lie, teeth, through

take (something) lying down

To accept or endure something without struggle, resistance, or opposition. (Often used in negative constructions.) You'll never be respected around here if you keep taking these taunts lying down. I will not take this lying down! You can expect to hear from my attorney.
See also: down, lying, take

lie heavy

1. To be very noticeable and displeasing. This usage usually refers to something that is not tangible, such as a quality or feeling. Tension lay heavy in the air after Kiki made her accusation.
2. To cause someone to feel uneasy. Guilt lay heavy on me after I called out of work to go to a concert.
See also: heavy, lie

lie like a trooper

To lie often and barefacedly. My brother lies like a trooper to get out of trouble with our parents. I just can't understand how they still believe him at this stage. You know you have true power when you can lie like a trooper, know that people don't believe you, and know that they'll go along with what you say regardless.
See also: lie, like, trooper

lie (one's) way into (something or someplace)

To obtain something or gain access to a particular place or thing through deceit. We tried to lie our way into the party, but we were immediately recognized as freshmen and told to leave. He didn't actually have any of the proper certifications, he just lied his way into the job.
See also: lie, way

not take (something) lying down

To refuse to accept or endure something without struggle, resistance, or opposition. You can't take kind of defiance from a subordinate lying down if you want other people in the office to respect you. The workers decided that they wouldn't take the proposed pay cuts lying down.
See also: down, lying, not, take

lie about

1. To tell a falsehood or mistruth about (something). I know you spent the money, I just don't understand why you feel you need to lie about it to me. While a bit of embellishment is all right, never lie about your experience on a résumé.
2. To recline or loiter lazily; to loaf. You can't just lie about here all summer long. Either find a job and start paying rent, or find somewhere else to live. My friends and I always loved lying about at the lake near our neighborhood when we were kids.
3. To be placed or located in a haphazard or careless location or position. Usually used in the continuous tense. You can't leave such sensitive information lying about—someone could see it who's not meant to. Why are all these boxes lying about? Someone could trip over them!
See also: lie

lie down

To recline; to be prostrate. (Be careful not to make the common mistake of saying or writing "lay down" instead, unless you are speaking solely in the past 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.
See also: down, lie

lie in

1. verb To recline or rest in a flat position in or inside of something. When I came in, I saw all my important papers lying in a pool of water on the kitchen floor.
2. obsolescent, verb Of a pregnant woman, to be confined in the hospital while in labor or waiting to give birth to her child. The thing I'm dreading most about having an induction is having to lie in for the entire day waiting for the labor to set in.
3. verb To come about from or be the result of something; to depend on something. The success of out campaign lies in establishing trust among rural voters. The fate of the company lies in the banker's hands.
4. noun A prolonged stay in one's bed in the morning. Often hyphenated. Primarily heard in US. Your mum's having a lie in this morning, so we need to be extra quiet downstairs. I love having a long lie-in on Sundays.
See also: lie

lie in state

Of a deceased person's body, to be on public display so that citizens are able to mourn before the body is buried. The body of the ruthless dictator lay in state for two weeks, and public mourning was enforced by his son, who has taken over the leadership position.
See also: lie, state

lie in store

To be awaiting (one) or prepared (for one). No one knows what lies in store, but we can try to prepare accordingly. There are many adventures lying in store for you, but first you must complete your training.
See also: lie, store

lie like a rug

To lie brazenly and barefacedly. A pun on the dual meanings of "lie." My brother always lies like a rug to get out of trouble with our parents. I just can't understand how they still believe him at this stage. You know you have true power when you can lie like a rug, know that people don't believe you, and know that they'll go along with what you say regardless.
See also: lie, like, rug

lie like a tombstone

To lie brazenly and barefacedly. Possibly from the fact that tombstone epitaphs favor positive descriptions of the deceased over factual characterizations. My brother always lies like a tombstone to get out of trouble with our parents. I just can't understand how they still believe him at this stage. You know you have true power when you can lie like a tombstone, know that people don't believe you, and know that they'll go along with what you say regardless.
See also: lie, like

lie with (one)

1. Literally, to recline alongside one. He lay with me on the rug while we listened to music.
2. To be decided by one; to depend on or rest with one; to be up to one. You know where we stand, but the decision ultimately lies with you. I'd feel better about this if the success of the whole thing didn't lie with someone we don't know.
3. old-fashioned A euphemism meaning to have sexual intercourse with one. He giggled when I asked if he wanted to lie with me. I guess it's not something most college students would say.
See also: lie

lie about

 
1. [for someone] to recline lazily somewhere. She just lay about through her entire vacation. Don't lie about all the time. Get busy.
2. [for something] to be located somewhere casually and carelessly, perhaps for a long time. This hammer has been lying about for a week. Put it away! Why are all these dirty dishes lying about?
See also: lie

lie about someone or something (to someone)

to say something untrue about someone or something to someone. I wouldn't lie about my boss to anyone! I wouldn't lie about anything like that!
See also: lie

lie doggo

Fig. to remain unrecognized (for a long time). This problem has lain doggo since 1967. If you don't find the typos now, they will lie doggo until the next edition.
See also: doggo, lie

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

lie down on the job

 and lay down on the job
Fig. to do one's job poorly or not at all. (Lay is a common error for lie.) Tom was fired because he was laying down on the job. You mean he was lying down on the job, don't you?
See also: down, job, lie, on

lie in

[for a woman] to lie in bed awaiting the birth of her child. The child is due soon, and the mother is lying in at the present time. She did not lie in at all. She worked right up to the onset of labor pains.
See also: lie

lie in something

to recline in something, such as a bed, a puddle, etc. I found my wallet lying in a puddle. My money was soaked! We found Jimmy lying in a pile of leaves, napping.
See also: lie

lie in state

[for a dead body] to be on display for public mourning. The president will lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda. Mourners filed past the leader where he lay in state.
See also: lie, state

lie in store

(for someone) Go to in store (for someone).
See also: lie, store

lie in wait (for someone or something)

Fig. to stay still and hidden, waiting for someone or something. Bob was lying in wait for Anne so he could scold her about something. The assassin lay in wait for his target to approach.
See also: lie, wait

lie like a rug

S/. to tell lies shamelessly. He says he didn't take the money, but he's lying like a rug. I don't believe her. She lies like a rug.
See also: lie, like, rug

take something lying down

Fig. to endure something unpleasant without fighting back. He insulted me publicly. You don't expect me to take that lying down, do you? I'm not the kind of person who'll take something like that lying down.
See also: down, lying, take

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

lie in

1. Be in confinement for childbirth, as in She thought she'd be lying in by next week. This usage is probably dying out. The name of Boston's Lying-In Hospital was changed to Women's Hospital in the 1970s. [Mid-1400s]
2. Also, lie in one's hands or in one's power . Rest or depend on something or someone, as in The solution lies in research, or The decision lies in the President's hands, or It does not lie in my power to turn this situation around. [Mid-1300s] Also see lie in wait; lie through one's teeth.
See also: lie

lie in state

see under in state.
See also: lie, state

lie in wait

Remain hidden while preparing to attack, as in The opposition was quietly lying in wait for the incumbent to make his first big mistake. This expression originally alluded to physical attacks and is now often used figuratively. [Mid-1400s] Also see lay for.
See also: lie, wait

take lying down

Submit to an insult, rebuke, or other harsh treatment without resisting, as in He won't take that snub lying down. This idiom uses lying down in the sense of "passively." [Late 1800s] Also see take it, def. 2.
See also: down, lying, take

not take something lying down

COMMON If something bad is happening and you say that you will not take it lying down, you mean that you will complain about it or fight against it. It is clear that he means to push everyone out who does not agree with him, and I for one am not going to take it lying down. They still say there's nothing wrong at all with their systems. I don't take these things lying down, so I complained several times by letter.
See also: down, lying, not, something, take

lie doggo

remain motionless or quiet. British
Lie doggo is of uncertain origin, but probably arose from a dog's habit of lying motionless or apparently asleep but nonetheless alert.
See also: doggo, lie

lie in state

(of the corpse of a person of national importance) be laid in a public place of honour before burial.
See also: lie, state

lie like a trooper

tell lies constantly and flagrantly. Compare with swear like a trooper (at swear).
See also: lie, like, trooper

take something lying down

accept an insult or injury without attempting retaliation.
1989 Shimmer Chinodya Harvest of Thorns She's boasting in front of me, laughing at me for being weak. Today she'll know I'm not going to take it lying down any longer.
See also: down, lying, something, take

lie ˈdoggo

(old-fashioned, informal) be very still or hide somewhere so that you will not be found: I lay doggo in the yard while the police searched the house for me.
See also: doggo, lie

lie down on the ˈjob

(informal) not do a job properly: I’m not going to employ anybody here who lies down on the job. I only want people who work hard.
See also: down, job, lie, on

lie in ˈstate

(of the body of an important person) be placed for people to see before it is buried
See also: lie, state

lie in ˈstore (for somebody)

(of events, etc.) be waiting to happen (to somebody): I wonder what lies in store for us in our new life in California.
See also: lie, store

lie in ˈwait

hide and wait for somebody so that you can attack them: The police think the murderer must have been lying in wait for his victim.
See also: lie, wait

(not) take something lying ˈdown

(informal) accept an insult or offensive act without protesting or reacting: I’m not going to take this stupid decision lying down. If necessary, I’ll take the company to court.She’s the kind of person who won’t take defeat lying down. OPPOSITE: put up a (good) fight
See also: down, lying, something, take

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

lie in

v.
1. To recline or rest in something: He lies in bed. The book lay in a puddle of mud.
2. To consist of or have something as a basis: Our continued success lies in our commitment to service.
See also: lie

lie doggo

(ˈlɑɪ ˈdɔgo)
in. to remain unrecognized (for a long time). (see also doggo. Old, but Standard English.) If you don’t find the typos now, they will lie doggo until the next edition.
See also: doggo, lie

lie like a rug

in. to tell lies shamelessly. He says he didn’t take the money, but he’s lying like a rug.
See also: lie, like, rug

take lying down

Informal
To submit to harsh treatment with no resistance: refused to take the snub lying down.
See also: down, lying, take

lie like a tombstone

To tell an untruth. Epitaphs written on headstones often exaggerate the deceased's relationships, accomplishments, and even personal data. The dearly departed may not in fact have been “beloved by his family” or “a brave soldier” or even born in the year in which he did indeed first see the light of day. Therefore, “here lies” can have a dual meaning.
See also: lie, like
References in periodicals archive ?
1996) found that the content of lying behavior can fall into five categories: cognition, achievement, action/plan/whereabouts, explanation, and fact/property.
Lying is characteristic of mental disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, conduct disorder, narcissitic personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
Abdul Shakoor has been transferred from Thano Bola Khan to Karachi (South) on promotion as Senior Civil Judge against the post lying vacant.
There is no way to spot lying from how people behave.
This is another aspect of lying with which it is hard to disagree.
Participants who had already admitted to lying more frequently also had higher winnings in this dice test, indicating that participants, who said they lie often, did indeed lie often.
For example, just as personal instances of lying including white lies of little or no consequence, such as compliments to a host despite a poorly cooked meal, may be excused, so too lies told to other states for the wider public interest are often easily forgiven by the public, such as the lie told by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 when he denied that plans were underway for the use of military intervention to free American hostages held in Tehran.
A very serious type of lying may present when a parent informs you their child tells lies all the time.
Someone suspected of lying would have to carry a red-hot iron bar for nine paces.
2 : to be spread flat so as to cover <There was snow lying on the fields.
Research from Friends Provident found more Britons are reaching for their mobile phone or laptop to avoid lying to someone face-to-face.
The writer wrote: ``Knowing how our ex-president lied about everything, I realized that he must be lying about the advantages in voting for Proposition 87.
To clarify: The verb TO LIE includes lie, lying, lay, have lain.
At the same time, he punctuates his story with insistent references to lies, liars, and lying, culminating in his final words: "And, naturally, I'm still telling lies.