Definition of lid in English:



  • 1A removable or hinged cover for the top of a container.

    ‘a dustbin lid’
    • ‘He advised anyone finding it to try to cover it up and suggested using a dustbin lid if it was curled up so it would be unable to escape.’
    • ‘As a result, it does not need either a tonneau cover nor a roof lid.’
    • ‘Cover with a lid to keep the smell and flies away.’
    • ‘Turn heat to high and close lid for at least 10 minutes.’
    • ‘The steam was still rising from it as the restaurant staff pressed a plastic lid onto the container.’
    • ‘She looked up at him while she closed the fuel tank lid.’
    • ‘Whatever lockbox there is has 536 keys, but more importantly no lid.’
    • ‘The pictures that decorated the outer covering were faded and the paper hinge that kept the lid fastened to the back side was nearly worn through.’
    • ‘Sitting down at the chair, she lifted the first silver lid.’
    • ‘A ghosting of orange eye shadow covered his lids and the slightest trace of orange lipstick made him look like a punk rocker.’
    • ‘A cutting board - included with the unit - fits over the stainless steel lid to create a work space.’
    • ‘I lifted the carefully decorated lid and found a note on the inside.’
    • ‘He was large and bald and held a slightly dented trashcan lid.’
    • ‘Lower the heat so that the milk is barely moving and cover with a lid.’
    • ‘He asked one of the women who worked there, ‘Which lid goes with the medium coffee?’’
    • ‘Give us a wheelie bin for the recycling waste and if it takes a month for some to fill it, then at least it will be in a secure container with a lid to secure the odours.’
    • ‘The removable lid of the two-chambered container supported the plant and was opaque.’
    • ‘Oftentimes, the only thing binding these teapots together is the fact that they each have a handle, spout and lid.’
    • ‘After covering the containers with a lid, they were placed into a water bath at 40°C.’
    • ‘I just stare at the can periodically, wondering what kind of unpleasantness lurks just under that lid.’
    cover, top, cap, covering
    cork, stopper, bung, plug
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    1. 1.1An eyelid.
      ‘eyes hooded beneath heavy lids’
      • ‘But he wanted to be able to feel them once more, their less-than-perfect curvatures beneath her cold lids and stiff, rough lashes.’
      • ‘Her heavy lids hid her eyes so well that they were seen only momentarily, like the fleeting glimpse of water in a deep well.’
      • ‘He could only stare at her there, watching her breathe and watching her eyes twitch beneath her lids.’
      • ‘He closed them tightly, feeling the bittersweet sensation of stinging dryness and strain wetted with fresh tears beneath the lids.’
      • ‘Squeezing his eyes shut, he rubbed his heavy lids.’
      • ‘She closed her eyes, and he saw no movement beneath her lids.’
      • ‘She looked at him with wise, solemn blue eyes, hooded by delicate yet heavy lids.’
      • ‘The light seeped beneath lids as I opened them to the chilled atmosphere.’
      • ‘My eyes are wide, with heavy but not too heavy lids.’
      • ‘They were a soft hazel, with heavy lids and dark circles beneath.’
      • ‘His eyes were darting around beneath his closed lids.’
      • ‘My eyes remain closed, but flicker beneath their lids in a frantic sort of anticipation as to what he might do.’
      • ‘The eyes of one of the most feared men thrashed beneath their lids as his body rolled on its left side as if searching for something that only appeared in dreams.’
      • ‘The hooded blue eyes unfurl, revealing beneath the lids an unquenched intensity.’
      • ‘Thus the upper lid covers the eye either partially or completely.’
      • ‘External examination includes a penlight evaluation of the lids, conjunctiva, sclera, cornea, and iris.’
      • ‘Instead he knelt beside the bed, watching her eyes dart beneath their lids.’
      • ‘You can't eat two bowls of a nice hearty homemade soup and not feel your lids getting heavy.’
      • ‘Close eye and pull lid gently under brow, then draw a line from the inner corner outward to match the dots.’
      • ‘If lipstick looks too shiny on your eyelids, dust your lids with loose powder foundation to tone down the color.’
    2. 1.2The top crust of a pie.
      • ‘Finally, drizzle the crumb side of the lid with remaining olive oil and sit it on top.’
      • ‘Slice the tops off the tomatoes and reserve for lids.’
      • ‘The only problem was keeping the pie lids flat, as they tend to form a dome when cooked.’
      • ‘You poked two holes at opposite sides of the pie lid, then squirted the jelly down the second hole until it came out of the first hole.’
    3. 1.3Botany The operculum of a moss capsule.
    4. 1.4informal A hat or crash helmet.
      ‘I've got a lid for you to try on’


  • keep a (or the) lid on

    • 1informal Keep (an emotion or process) from going out of control.

      ‘she couldn't keep the lid on her simmering anger’
      • ‘Terri tried to keep a lid on her anger, but was rapidly losing the fight.’
      • ‘He fits the profile of the classic moderate New York Democrat, like his predecessor, who frequently fought to keep a lid on taxes in the city.’
      • ‘He keeps a lid on his feelings, and no one suspects the powerful secrets he has hidden.’
      • ‘So a baggy post or so per fortnight here is looking like something I can keep a lid on, but the thing is, I really don't want to wreck this blog by turning it into something that looks like a money-extracting device.’
      • ‘He understands the need for more micro-economic reform to achieve the first goal, but also understands that the public's limited appetite for radical reform means he has to keep a lid on.’
      • ‘You may tend to exaggerate, but if you keep a lid on that, you'll be known for your confidence, generosity and sense of justice, lucky Jupiter.’
      • ‘The only thing that kept the lid on everything was not the secret police or army but a system of intricate favours with just enough people lining their pockets and everyone owing the big man.’
      • ‘He should look at the records of repressive rulers who keep the lid on too tightly.’
      • ‘He was barely able to keep a lid on them, using secret police and brutal repression.’
      • ‘The expletives with which he greeted reporters after his third round at Gleneagles two Saturdays ago was just another example of the volcanic temper that he has long struggled to keep a lid on.’
      1. 1.1Keep secret.
        ‘she keeps a very tight lid on her private life’
        • ‘The White House is doing an even better job of keeping the lid on this nominee than the last.’
        • ‘How about keeping a lid on information, Secretary?’
        • ‘Yet competing media outlets, anxious to preserve their access, obligingly kept the lid on.’
        • ‘It's too difficult for any organization - whether a governmental agency or a news organization - to keep a lid on controversial information in the digital age.’
        • ‘Do you think that major news agencies are keeping the lid on these sort of stories?’
        • ‘It is now known that the government kept the lid on this controversial deployment for more than two weeks.’
        • ‘But who are the people who are keeping the lid on all this?’
        • ‘The romance was simmering for two years, Daniel revealed, and despite his anxiety to tell everyone, he kept the lid on his newfound love.’
        • ‘It's not just the reporters who are keeping a lid on all the good things going on.’
        • ‘They get asked a zillion questions at these press conferences, and mostly they keep a lid on what they've been saying.’
  • put a (or the) lid on

    • informal Put a stop to.

      ‘it's time to put the lid on all the talk’
      • ‘With the pace of progress in that area remaining slow, investors have regarded the country's judicial institutions as lacking credibility, putting a lid on efforts to lure investors.’
      • ‘Our feeling is this time the administration might be more receptive, and that is probably putting a lid on prices.’
      • ‘The demolition put a lid on the controversial excavations.’
      • ‘But now there will be no putting a lid on what will be a huge clamour for a windfall from customers who have every right to it.’
      • ‘You have been very passive about something that is entirely within your control to put a lid on.’
      • ‘The final decision was to put a lid on any further investigation of Jack the Ripper.’
      • ‘We can not stop proliferation any more than we can stop the advancement of technology or put a lid on individual ingenuity.’
      • ‘The authorities are putting the lid on unauthorized reception of overseas TV via satellite dishes, which number between 20,000 and 200,000.’
      • ‘By declaring her intention to spend her final 16 months doing what she should have been doing all along - resuscitating the economy, establishing peace and order, and putting a lid on corruption - she has raised high expectations.’
      • ‘The world's central banks are jumping at any opportunity to sell the reserves in their vaults whenever the price starts to rise, effectively putting a lid on gains.’
      stop, control, finish, end, put an end to, be the end of, put a stop to, put paid to, destroy
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  • put the lid (or the tin lid) on it

    • informal Be the culmination of a series of acts or events that makes a situation unbearable.

      ‘he has been in a lot of pain and this just puts the lid on it’
      • ‘Now, to put the tin lid on it, scientific research has revealed that their fans are the most tone-deaf in the entire Premiership.’
      • ‘Five fail-to-appears and an escape in ‘79 put the lid on it.’
  • take (or lift) the lid off (or lift the lid on)

    • informal Reveal unwelcome secrets about.

      ‘the programme lifts the lid on the true scale of the bungled police investigation’
      • ‘‘We have tried to find out what part he had and we've been working to lift the lid on what he did,’ said one official on the US Congress International Relations committee.’
      • ‘A lighthearted charity auction will lift the lid on the bathroom secrets of the stars next month to help autistic children - by auctioning autographed toilet seats.’
      • ‘It's taking the lid off and showing them the (ugly, ugly) workings of the guys in power right now.’
      • ‘The new committee also plans to lift the lid off Athy's secret and promote the waterways at a national level by advertising in national newspaper and magazines.’
      • ‘‘I decided to involve Louis because I wanted to take the lid off all this corruption,’ says Neil.’
      • ‘Their bill encourages fewer firms to control more of our media outlets and phone lines, while it also takes the lid off how much they can gouge us for the service.’
      • ‘Sometimes the rule that lets us lift the lid on the nation's secrets comes up with humdrum stuff.’
      • ‘A dustcart driver has lifted the lid on how green waste has also been dumped in landfills under Hampshire's flagship recycling scheme.’
      • ‘A 337-page report lifts the lid on how retailers conspired to stop price cuts.’
      • ‘The only problem I have with the stuff is that if you open, let's say, a tin of salmon, place it in said container and then leave it too long, you have to deal with it when you eventually take the lid off.’
      expose, reveal, bring to light, make known, make public, bring into the open, leak, disclose, divulge, broadcast, publish, release
      take the lid off, blow wide open, let the cat out of the bag, spill the beans, blow the gaff, blab
      View synonyms


Old English hlid, of Germanic origin, from a base meaning cover; related to Dutch lid.