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’
    • ‘They laid about him with the back of their axes and overwhelmed him with stones and (thigh) bones and ox heads.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1lay about one Strike out wildly on all sides.
      ‘the mare laid about her with her front legs and teeth’
      • ‘The standard image of a barbarian is some bloodthirsty crazy shouting out incomprehensible threats and laying about him /em> with a massive axe.’
      • ‘I'm getting on a bit myself but I am quite willing and capable of laying about myself with a stick if need be.’
      • ‘Behave churlishly and rudely, treating everyone you encounter like some kind of moron and generally laying about you with a riding crop.’
      • ‘Now Big Larry kept the crowd from annoying the couple, by properly laying about him with a switch all along the road.’
      • ‘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.’