Definition of lay about in English:

lay about

phrasal verb

British
  • 1Beat or attack (someone) violently.

    ‘they weren't against laying about you with sticks and stones’
    • ‘The guards laid about them, striking men and women with the flats of their swords.’
    • ‘Dancers, casting aside their cloaks, revealed themselves as lightly armored fighters who drew all manner of weapons and began laying about them with a will.’
    • ‘They laid about him with the back of their axes and overwhelmed him with stones and (thigh) bones and ox heads.’
    1. 1.1lay about one Strike out wildly on all sides.
      ‘the mare laid about her with her front legs and teeth’
      • ‘Mary alone attempted to resist by force the intrusion of these soldiers, laying about her with a parasol to fend off the men trying to get through the bedroom door.’
      • ‘I'm getting on a bit myself but I am quite willing and capable of laying about myself with a stick if need be.’
      • ‘Now Big Larry kept the crowd from annoying the couple, by properly laying about him with a switch all along the road.’
      • ‘The standard image of a barbarian is some bloodthirsty crazy shouting out incomprehensible threats and laying about him /em> with a massive axe.’
      • ‘Behave churlishly and rudely, treating everyone you encounter like some kind of moron and generally laying about you with a riding crop.’