- 1[intransitive] (of a person or an animal) to be or put yourself in a flat or horizontal position so that you are not standing or sitting + adv./prep. to lie on your back/side/front + adj. The cat was lying fast asleep by the fire.
- 2[intransitive] (of a thing) to be or remain in a flat position on a surface + adv./prep. Clothes were lying all over the floor. + adj. The book lay open on his desk.
- 3[intransitive] to be, remain, or be kept in a particular state + adj. Snow was lying thick on the ground. These machines have lain idle since the factory closed. + adv./prep. a ship lying at anchor I'd rather use my money than leave it lying in the bank.
- 4[intransitive] + adv./prep. (of a town, natural feature, etc.) to be located in a particular place The town lies on the coast.
- 5[intransitive] + adv./prep. to be spread out in a particular place The valley lay below us.
- 6 [intransitive] lie (in something) (of ideas, qualities, problems, etc.) to exist or be found The problem lies in deciding when to intervene. compare lay Idioms
- 1hang/lie heavy (on/in something) (of a feeling or something in the air) to be very noticeable in a particular place in a way that is unpleasant Smoke lay heavy on the far side of the water. Despair hangs heavy in the stifling air.
- 2hang/lie heavy on somebody/something to cause someone or something to feel uncomfortable or anxious The crime lay heavy on her conscience.
hang/lie heavyjump to other results
to avoid mentioning a subject or something that happened in the past, in order to avoid any problems or arguments
let sleeping dogs lie(saying)jump to other results
to be going to happen to someone in the future You are young and your whole life lies ahead of you. She didn't know what lay in store.
lie ahead/in storejump to other results
(of the dead body of an important person) to be placed on view in a public place before being buried
lie in statejump to other results
to hide, waiting to surprise, attack, or catch someone He was surrounded by reporters who had been lying in wait for him.
lie in wait (for somebody)jump to other results
to try not to attract attention to yourself
lie low(informal)jump to other results
to accept an insult or offensive act without protesting or reacting
take something lying downjump to other results
you must accept the results of your actions Phrasal Verbslie aroundlie backlie behind somethinglie downlie with somebody (to do something)
you've made your bed and you must lie in it(saying)jump to other results