Definition of lay something out in English:

lay something out

phrasal verb

  • 1Spread something out to its full extent.

    ‘the police were insisting that suitcases should be opened and their contents laid out’
    ‘her evening dress was laid out on the bed’
    • ‘If you were to uncoil a French horn and lay it out to its full length, it would be over six miles long.’
    • ‘Carefully holding them he made his way back to the couch and laid the contents out on the coffee table.’
    • ‘Lauren unfolded the letter carefully and laid it out on the small table in her room.’
    • ‘He would lay his uniform out and dress from the toes up.’
    • ‘‘Thank you so, so much,’ I whispered, laying the dress out on the gown and hugging my aunt tightly.’
    • ‘I lay my dress out on my bed and chose a pair of shoes before grabbing a towel and heading into the bathroom.’
    • ‘Since I still needed my dress the next week, I carefully laid it out on her bed and changed into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.’
    • ‘The main instruments are laid out clearly in front of the driver.’
    • ‘Piles of bullets, Beretta handguns and Kalashnikovs are laid out carefully next to ornamental knives and silver jewellery.’
    • ‘She pulled out the costume and looked at the emblem thoughtfully for a minute, then carefully laid it out on another chair next to her front window.’
  • 2Construct or arrange buildings or gardens according to a plan.

    ‘they proceeded to lay out a new town’
    • ‘Kutna Hora is laid out on a higgledy-piggledy hillside plan, a response to the mine-works underneath.’
    • ‘The city of Philadelphia was laid out according to Penn's plan.’
    • ‘The gardens had been laid out quite formally, but there are signs of obvious neglect.’
    • ‘The area where the houses and gardens would be laid out would be raised by about 2ft to counter the risk of flooding and changes to the drainage at the edge of the reserve.’
    • ‘The 208 apartments in the Tramyard will be laid out in eight blocks arranged in clusters around a landscaped courtyard.’
    • ‘The buyer will have the opportunity to specify how the interior and formal gardens are laid out and will be able to put their own, personal stamp on the property.’
    • ‘Santa Fe was laid out as a series of blocks around a plaza, with the government buildings on its north side.’
    • ‘The Flower Garden near the Orchid House is laid out with beds of flowering annual and perennials.’
    • ‘These gardens were laid out in 1550 for the Medici a year after they bought the Palazzo Pitti and were opened to the public in 1766.’
    • ‘Land in Whitton has been laid out in 28 allotment plots of varying sizes.’
    1. 2.1 Arrange and present material for printing and publication.
      ‘the brochure is beautifully laid out’
      • ‘What I liked was that the material is laid out in a reasonable fashion.’
      • ‘Organized by ribs, ruffles, fringes, and other structures these details are laid out on full sized pages with large color photographs.’
      • ‘The final feed would end up in the production department, where the text would be laid out and made ready for actual printing.’
      • ‘You can read the pages exactly as they are laid out in the physical paper and download pdfs of any pages you want to keep.’
      • ‘The pages are laid out in tightly-controlled squares.’
      • ‘I like the way many small articles and pictures are laid out on the page so that my eye can skip from one to another.’
      • ‘The lines are laid out as prose, although there are a few attempts at verse format on the early pages, and sentences run on without a break.’
      • ‘The page proofs were laid out a few weeks in advance, and the minority panel convened for the last time to review them.’
      • ‘The book is produced in A4 format on shiny paper; it is laid out in two columns and thus looks very much like what it is: an issue of a journal captured between hard covers.’
      design, plan, set out, arrange
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    2. 2.2 Explain something clearly and carefully.
      ‘we need a paper laying out our priorities’
      • ‘You have to lay it out for her, explain that her behaviour will end your relationship.’
      • ‘The plans are laid out in a highly detailed 375 page document, which has been written before the organisation-wide strategic plan on which it is meant to be based.’
      • ‘The basic techniques had been laid out clearly in the agronomic handbooks of Ancient Rome.’
      • ‘Any scientific theory has an exemplary case where the basic ideas and methodologies are laid out clearly and convincingly.’
      • ‘I liked the fact that he laid it out very clearly that we're going to be OK, but we're going to go after these guys.’
      • ‘The plans will be laid out on Wednesday in a White Paper.’
      • ‘Potential investors are periodically invited to watch the company perform 10-minute snatches of each property, and a business plan is laid out.’
      • ‘Caroll's book was the first thing I'd read that seemed to lay it out clearly, and contrary to what I was expecting, he wasn't a fruitcake.’
      • ‘‘I believe that the approach to compensation as well as the specifics are laid out clearly in proxy statements and other public documents,’ he said.’
      • ‘A strategy meeting was convened and the plan was laid out.’
      spread out, set out, arrange, display, exhibit, distribute, line up, order
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  • 3informal Spend a sum of money.

    ‘look at the money I had to lay out for your uniform’
    • ‘Similarly in Sligo we will never know how much money is laid out, and at the end of the day it is the ordinary ‘Joe Soap’ that goes around begging to raise money for the County Board.’
    • ‘If the latter, then we have to wonder if consumers will be willing to lay out good money to see something they've already bought fixed properly.’
    • ‘We've spent hours of time, we've laid out money, and we'll be working at least some of the day rather than watching our son compete.’
    • ‘But there are doubts about whether the two men want to lay out that amount.’
    • ‘But when we come in, the cheaper it is, the better for us, because we know we're not going to have to lay out so much money.’
    spend, expend, pay, disburse, contribute, part with, invest, put in, devote, use up, donate, give
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