Definition of layer in English:

layer

noun

  • 1A sheet, quantity, or thickness of material, typically one of several, covering a surface or body.

    ‘arrange a layer of aubergines in a dish’
    • ‘Most polishes and waxes leave a layer of wax on surfaces to protect finish.’
    • ‘Further, the ionization of the gas by the electrons removes the need to coat the sample with a layer of conductive material.’
    • ‘Repeat until you have 3 layers of pumpkin filling, finishing with a layer of lasagne sheets.’
    • ‘Once the desired quantity of trees had been installed, a layer of geotextile material was deposited on top to keep contaminants out of the stream.’
    • ‘Like your eyelashes, so blond they were only noticeable when you blinked and the top row met the bottom in a layer of double thickness.’
    • ‘In the case of a wall like this, because it's very densely packed, and then it is coated with a layer of plaster inside and outside, it's a zero fire hazard.’
    • ‘It was a layer of slime that coated every surface, reducing all materials to the same revolting color and dimming the lights to an anemic yellow.’
    • ‘Thatch is a layer of fibrous material, which if it becomes too deep, prevents proper drainage of rain.’
    • ‘The glass is 1.5 inches thick with a layer of material sandwiched in between to further improve blast resistance.’
    • ‘It has the same sidecut as the original, with changed graphics and a layer of metalic material.’
    • ‘Depending on various factors, you might need to place a layer of base material on top of the subgrade.’
    • ‘Then an insulator material is layered over the base, followed by a layer of superconducting material.’
    • ‘These tissues then provide a layer of insulation between the body core and the surface.’
    • ‘I hope you're aware that these walls are only a layer of sheet rock and a bit of plaster!’
    • ‘Then they covered the surface with a layer of hydrogen atoms.’
    • ‘In all cases, evaporation from the pots was minimized by covering the exposed surface with a layer of filter paper.’
    • ‘Cut the pasta sheets to size and arrange a layer of pasta over the base of the dish.’
    • ‘Over that there was a layer of soft black material, open at the front to show the red dress beneath.’
    • ‘In fresh, unhomogenized milk the droplets of fat float to the surface, forming a layer of ‘top of milk’.’
    • ‘Arrange a layer of fish, skin side down, at the bottom.’
    coating, sheet, coat, surface, film, covering, blanket, skin, veneer, thickness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A level of seniority in the hierarchy of an organization.
      ‘a managerial layer’
      • ‘In the two and a half years since Seattle this movement has grown in numbers, involving significantly greater layers of organised workers, and has deepened its critique of capitalism.’
      • ‘There are few layers of hierarchy, there is a simple, unified chain of command, and there is little horizontal differentiation.’
      • ‘At the moment it is just levels and layers of bureaucracy.’
      • ‘The bureaucratic layers between the U.S. forces and the secretary of defense were severed.’
      • ‘Finally, a complex system typically consists of multiple layers of organization, with each level complementing or comprising a higher level.’
      • ‘Many of these efforts focused on flattening the hierarchical structure or reducing the number of layers in the organization.’
      • ‘Keep the number of reporting layers within your organization to a minimum.’
      • ‘Second, the structure of the Council is explored, with a view to identifying those individuals who together constitute the various layers of the Council hierarchy.’
      • ‘Firstly, practices are small organisations with fewer layers of bureaucracy than most hospitals.’
      • ‘There are essentially four layers of hierarchical division within the Commission bureaucracy.’
      • ‘Instead, they were handled several layers down in the organization by people with clear and strong incentives to maximize revenues.’
      • ‘In consequence, there exists a whole layer of senior IT decision-makers devoted to the skills of managing the relationship.’
      • ‘The North East voted against a Regional Assembly because it would be an expensive layer of government with no power to alter local laws for local people.’
      • ‘Taxes are traditionally collected at the lowest administrative level and each layer in the hierarchy can keep a cut of the taxes.’
      • ‘Now as boss, he invites discussion and says he is always trying to remove layers of hierarchy.’
      • ‘But opponents of ‘regionalisation’ say it would merely add an extra layer of expensive bureaucracy and unwanted politicians.’
      • ‘In recent years this has been achieved by removing layers of managers to create flatter organizations.’
      • ‘Just another electioneering pack of lies designed to mislead people into enabling yet a further layer of politicians to line their pockets at our expense.’
      • ‘Choose a protégé you can learn from, too - someone who may give you some insight into different layers of your organization.’
      • ‘Some might conclude that such programmes may add bureaucratic layers and burden to an already overtaxed system.’
  • 2in combination A person or thing that lays something.

    ‘the majority of fish are egg-layers’
    • ‘The actor is a former asphalt layer who is renowned in television circles for his singing voice.’
  • 3A shoot fastened down to take root while attached to the parent plant.

    ‘they can be increased from cuttings and layers’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Arrange in a layer or layers.

    ‘the current trend for layered clothes’
    • ‘Some people search for caribou through binoculars, others take turns napping in a crawl space that is layered with mattresses and sleeping bags.’
    • ‘They store for several months if you layer them with pickling salt in a covered jar in the refrigerator.’
    • ‘Although I had allowed myself on more than one occasion to daydream and imagined myself in the lovely silk layered clothes of a lady.’
    • ‘Clothes that can be layered with a variety of colors and styles work great.’
    • ‘Check out the way I've layered the clothes on Dougie.’
    • ‘The essential ingredients are sponge cake soaked in sherry or white wine, rich custard, fruit or jam, and whipped cream, layered in a glass dish in that order.’
    • ‘Pastilla is a layered pastry dish combining almonds and shredded meat.’
    • ‘Sometimes they are made into a thick porridge like polenta, left to set and cut into shapes, layered in a dish with cheese and baked in the oven.’
    • ‘The tantalising pomme Anna consisted of Charlotte potatoes sliced, layered and caramelised with rosemary butter.’
    • ‘Fortunately many dishes that are layered, filled, or stuffed can be assembled a day ahead of the party.’
    • ‘On the day of the study, subjects wore what they normally wore to work: rubberized apron, gloves and boots layered above cotton clothes.’
    • ‘Anything that can be layered allows you to adapt easily to weather changes.’
    • ‘Once that's all done, turn the heat down or off, whilst you layer sliced potatoes on top.’
    • ‘Bed linens are draped, layered and pleated in three grand monochrome compositions that achieve the stately sublimity of religious art.’
    • ‘Not only do I save time, but the flavours are layered into the dish, building towards the finish.’
    • ‘Have you ever layered bananas with dried dates, poured cream over them and left them to chill for a couple of hours so that the dates become soft and sticky?’
    • ‘A bell-sleeved tunic was layered over a leotard vest.’
    1. 1.1 Cut (hair) in overlapping layers.
      ‘her layered, shoulder-length hair’
      • ‘The first female had layered blond hair and glittering green eyes.’
      • ‘Abby had flared out layered blonde hair with red highlights throughout and steaming brown eyes.’
      • ‘Her long, black hair was layered and strewn seductively over her shoulders and back.’
      • ‘He had layered red hair, the longest parts reaching just past the nape of his neck, which flipped around his head in a semi-messy manner.’
      • ‘Alex had shoulder length, layered blonde hair and perfectly shaped eyebrows that came with a set of perfect brown, cat-like eyes.’
      • ‘At the moment her hair was layered, and light brown with hot pink tips.’
      • ‘My formerly straight hair was now layered and somewhat puffy.’
      • ‘She twirled her fingers in his long, artfully layered auburn hair.’
      • ‘He had long, straight, layered brown hair and green eyes.’
      • ‘Other than the cut, they also layered my hair all over the back to give it more body but left the front layers long and without any tapering in order to better frame my face.’
      • ‘Ashlee's hair is layered to just below her shoulders.’
      • ‘Her hair was perfectly layered and moved beautifully around her throughout the episode!’
      • ‘His hair was layered and flipped out in different directions.’
      • ‘She watched as a woman entered the room, pushing layered gold-brown hair away from her face.’
      • ‘She has short, red, layered hair that stops just below her ears.’
      • ‘Tilting my head, I saw Gabby along with the whole squad of Freshmen cheerleaders, all seemingly identical with their uniforms, long nails, pouty lips, and layered hair.’
      • ‘I pulled a brush through my long and layered black hair.’
      • ‘I layered my hair, I wore clogs, I floated around in gauzy peasant shirts and played my folk guitar.’
      • ‘She had long layered black hair, which looked bluish purple in some light.’
      • ‘Find and inspect some pictures of people with curly, layered hair.’
  • 2Propagate (a plant) as a layer.

    ‘a layered shoot’
    • ‘If you're planning to share this shrub with a friend, you can layer it directly into a pot.’
    • ‘Some plants propagate naturally by layering, but sometimes plant propagators assist the process.’
    • ‘One of the easiest ways to propagate shrubs is by layering - bending down a branch so it roots directly in the soil.’
    • ‘Autumn or early spring is a good time to start layering a shrub.’
    • ‘It is also propagated by layering, divisions and by seed which it sets in profusion.’
    • ‘Propagation can be done by air layering but patience is required as it may take awhile before layered segments root and can be removed from the parent plant.’
    • ‘Autumn is a good time to propagate shrubs by layering, a simple technique that can also be done in spring.’
    • ‘He keeps his going to get a second crop by layering it.’
    • ‘Rather than buying more plants, Eva propagates her own by layering.’
    • ‘To propagate, follow the same procedure as with red currants - take cuttings in late fall or early spring, or propagate by layering.’
    • ‘Because it required excessive care and patience, air layering was used only by the highly trained plantsman.’
    • ‘In most cases you are advised to leave the layering until the plant is in growth the following year.’
    • ‘Raise new plants from seeds or cuttings, and by layering, and provide support with trellises, pergolas and other structures.’

Origin

Middle English (denoting a mason): from lay + -er. The sense ‘stratum of material covering a surface’ (early 17th century) may represent a respelling of an obsolete agricultural use of lair denoting quality of soil.

Pronunciation

layer

/ˈleɪə/