- 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.
- 7[intransitive] (British English) to be in a particular position during a competition + adv./prep. Thompson is lying in fourth place. + adj. After five games the German team are lying second. compare lay Word Origin Old English licgan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch liggen and German liegen, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek lektron, lekhos and Latin lectus
- 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 somebody/something to feel uncomfortable or anxious The crime lay heavy on her conscience.
verbjump to other results
BrE BrE//laɪ//; NAmE NAmE//laɪ//Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they lie
BrE BrE//laɪ//; NAmE NAmE//laɪ//he / she / it lies
BrE BrE//laɪz//; NAmE NAmE//laɪz//past simple lay
BrE BrE//leɪ//; NAmE NAmE//leɪ//past participle lain
BrE BrE//leɪn//; NAmE NAmE//leɪn//-ing form lying
BrE BrE//ˈlaɪɪŋ//; NAmE NAmE//ˈlaɪɪŋ//