One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An item of cloth, paper, etc., fixed on the surface of something, especially for decorative effect; (Bookbinding) a thin piece of leather, etc., mounted on the cover of a book for ornamentation.
2Dentistry. An occlusal rest extended so as to cover the whole occlusal surface of a tooth.
with object To lay on (literal and figurative): see to lay on.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Century Dictionary. From onlay<br>Old English; earliest use found in Old English Martyrology. From on- + lay.
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