Definition of unlay in English:



[with object]Nautical
  • Untwist (a rope) into separate strands.

    • ‘To form the splice, unlay the two ends of the rope to be joined and tape or whip the ends of each strand.’
    • ‘A knife is helpful here to get things started, but they unlay easily once you've gotten it going.’
    • ‘To minimize shrinkage and reduce unlaying when cut; the twine is fully stabilized, resulting in much easier handling.’
    • ‘This will cause the rope to unlay and to some degree distortion of the rope will occur.’
    • ‘Hercules ropes are pre-formed, to minimize unlaying and its resultant cost during further fabrication’
    untwine, disentwine, disentangle, unravel, unsnarl, unwind, unroll, uncoil, unreel, undo, spread out, unfurl, open, open out, lay out, straighten, straighten out, unkink
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Early 18th century: from un- (expressing reversal) + lay.