the lie of the land


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Related to the lie of the land: how the land lies

the lie of the land

1. Literally, the physical topography of a particular location or area. Primarily heard in UK. See if there's a path to higher ground so we can see the lie of the land.
2. By extension, the particular state, arrangement, or condition of something; the way a situation exists or has developed. Primarily heard in UK. Given the turbulent nature of this market, I think it would be prudent to understand the lie of the land before we agree to invest. I'm thinking about studying business, but I want to visit a few colleges first and check out the lie of the land.
See also: land, lie, of

the ˌlie of the ˈland

(British English) (American English the ˌlay of the ˈland)
1 the way the land in an area is formed and what physical characteristics it has
2 the way a situation is now and how it is likely to develop: Check out the lie of the land before you make a decision.
See also: land, lie, of
References in periodicals archive ?
But I will certainly be speaking to Mark and see what the lie of the land is.
The Lie Of The Land, a documentary feature film by award-winning director Molly Dineen, chronicles what could be the death throes of a way of life.
Having spent two years living on site prior to constructing this modest 80sqm extension, many hours were invested in coming to terms with the lie of the land, and while sharing the place with his writer wife, Taylor was also keen to develop a strong narrative for the site; a never-ending story, that begins as you leave your car to walk the wooded path, and that continues via gate, enclosure and terrace, to infinity beyond.
Brian also made very good use of the lie of the land and chose garden furniture that was attractive and useful but didn't take attention away from the plants.
As anyone who works with kids will tell you, it doesn't take long for some kids to figure out the lie of the land and begin working the system.
Well, when it comes to the BBC's regions and national regions and so on, they know a thing or two about the lie of the land, don't they?