Definition of lay something down in English:

lay something down

phrasal verb

  • 1Put something down.

    • ‘He laid the phone down and said, "She won't be coming back."’
    • ‘She laid down on the cot, pulling a tattered blanket over herself.’
    • ‘At the edge, Linda lays the flowers down, kneeling beside the grave.’
    • ‘She walked to the bed and lay the platter down in front of her.’
    • ‘He walked up to her desk and laid a file down.’
    • ‘Fiber-optic cables are being laid down along the national and state highways in Kerala.’
    • ‘The block was built around the four sides of a concrete courtyard which he had laid down.’
    • ‘She sighed as she laid the last plate down.’
    • ‘Garth found a patch of grass underneath a tree, laid down, and fell asleep.’
  • 2Formulate and enforce or insist on a rule or principle.

    ‘stringent criteria have been laid down’
    • ‘Other federal laws enacted before the Supreme Court's new rules were laid down will undoubtedly be reviewed, and some will be found wanting.’
    • ‘Originally, under international law, war was waged between states, and rules were laid down governing its declaration and the conduct which had to be observed.’
    • ‘It does seem particularly important that as quickly as possible the core legal principles are laid down.’
    • ‘The rules are laid down for signing and loaning players and Wanderers work strictly within those rules.’
    • ‘School rules are not laid down so that teachers can get a kick out of enforcing them.’
    • ‘From the start strict rules were laid down for its romantic novels, toning down passion to avoid offence.’
    • ‘The king inherited a government whose rules had been laid down by his father, the former king.’
    • ‘As laws are laid down, the principles of justice on which they were founded crystallise and one is left with the bare bones of legal rules.’
    • ‘I appealed to them, saying that I was more than happy to follow whatever ground rules had been laid down.’
    • ‘In my view, no hard and fast rules can be laid down in respect of this issue.’
    formulate, stipulate, set down, draw up, frame
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  • 3Pay or bet money.

    ‘when it comes to field sports, large sums of money are laid down’
    • ‘The money was duly laid down, so Lucas whipped off his kit and plunged in.’
    • ‘It's a haven in the wild west of the web; a place where you can lay your money down and be sure that you will get your cash back if the goods do not turn up.’
    • ‘So I laid the money down, I just had to help him out I'll never forget the look on his face when he said Mama's gonna look so great’
    • ‘I've done my bit to help Freddie to make his millions by purchasing his novels as they appeared, so why stop now I said to myself recently as I laid my money down for his latest.’
  • 4Begin to construct a ship or railway.

    ‘twenty-four ships were projected, of which twenty were laid down’
    • ‘Only a fraction of ships laid down were ever fully operational.’
    • ‘The massive naval harbour that bites into Algeciras Bay was a Victorian achievement, that was only properly completed in the 1900's after which the dry docks were laid down.’
    • ‘Two ironclads were laid down there, but these were unfinished when the Federal fleet took the city.’
    • ‘Work proceeded forthwith, and the first three of five Holland boats were laid down on February 4, 1901.’
    • ‘As psychoanalysis has taught us in its methodology of disinterested attention, only after all the tracks have been laid down may one begin to evaluate them.’
    • ‘Yet nobody complained a peep about the Bonaventure when it was laid down to access the Champlain Bridge and Expo 67.’
    1. 4.1 Build up a deposit of a substance.
      ‘these cells lay down new bone tissue’
      • ‘The fossil-bearing chalk deposits were laid down as ocean-floor ooze hundreds of kilometers from the waterways shores.’
      • ‘The sediments were laid down in the late Pleistocene as broad alluvial fans derived from the nearby Santa Monica Mountains.’
      • ‘Additional studies will determine if the rocks were laid down by minerals formed at the bottom of a salty lake or sea.’
      • ‘The spore wall layers are laid down in a specific order in which the mannan, glucan, chitosan, and dityrosine layers overlay outward in a step-wise manner.’
      • ‘Synorogenic flysch deposits were laid down in front of the advancing allochthonous complexes, and were overridden by them.’
      • ‘The rover Opportunity will seek to determine how the layers were laid down, and look for evidence of water from hot springs, which could arise out of local volcanic warming.’
      • ‘This is a condition in which fatty deposits are laid down in the walls of arteries, which are less elastic and weaker as a result.’
      • ‘The confusion can be traced to the uniformitarian expectations that the deposits were laid down over eons of time.’
      • ‘We know that these limestones were laid down in a shallow shelf sea that was periodically exposed as sea levels fell worldwide owing to the build-up of ice in a former glaciation.’
      • ‘The rock that makes up the landscape was laid down in the Jurassic period, between about 150 and 200 million years ago.’
  • 5Store wine in a cellar.

    ‘each bottle has to be laid down for several years before it is ready to drink’
    • ‘Alternatively, wines can be laid down for just one of these occasions, as required.’
    • ‘When someone opens a bottle of my wine many years from now they will know that our wines have ageeability and can be laid down (cellared) for decades.’
    • ‘He believed the white mold actually played an important part of his winemaking process, as it coated nearly everything, from the barrels to the bottles which he laid down there for years.’
    store, put into store, keep for future use, keep, save
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  • 6informal Record a piece of music.

    ‘he was invited to the studio to lay down some backing vocals’
    • ‘So after a brief run through the tapes were switched on to lay a backing track down.’
    • ‘Once the composition takes shape, they and any session musicians they may need are used to laying it down at high speed.’
    • ‘When I start getting inputs in my head, I have to start laying them down.’
    • ‘This entire album could have been recorded in the earth's cavernous bowels, but in fact it was laid down at Bauer Studios, in Ludwigsburg.’
    • ‘I can skip the searching process now and just grab a guitar, bass, keys or drums and lay it down.’
    • ‘He also sang most of the songs cold, before any instruments were laid down in the studio.’
    • ‘Three chords are laid down but that's where the obvious territory ends, as within seconds it's all scrunched up and tossed for yet more spiky-assed punk recklessness.’
    • ‘How do you feel it's an advantage over laying things down on tape piece by piece?’
    • ‘After years of performing and touring, the time came for him to take his experiences and lay them down in the form of a demo, but not without a certain amount of hesitation.’
    • ‘It was fact that we went in there and laid it down in six hours that gave the first songs such urgency and energy - just can't be captured again once you lose your innocence!’
    • ‘But the true power in this album is that she laid the tracks down live and left them that way.’