Definition of lay something on thick (or with a trowel) in US English:

lay something on thick (or with a trowel)

phrase

informal
  • Grossly exaggerate or overemphasize something.

    • ‘In the name of race relations, satire and social commentary, he lays it on thick, offering egocentric observations like ‘She didn't finish high school’.’
    • ‘Before she started publishing her guidebooks, the words in most botanical tomes were laid on with a trowel, leaving no room for illustrations.’
    • ‘Philip lays it on thick, telling her that he forgives her for faking the pregnancy, and that he is sorry for leaving her at the altar.’
    • ‘He knows how to lay it on thick when he needs to, you know?’
    • ‘She lays it on thick about how she's always loved your work and how she thinks you could make beautiful music together.’
    • ‘Someone could have a bone to pick with you soon, and they'll lay it on thick as sauce.’
    • ‘I can safely say this: the English-speaking voice actors are bad, laying it on thick and heavy, without an ounce of subtlety.’
    • ‘Occasionally, the tone can be too sentimental and some of the historic background is laid on with a trowel, but these are quibbles.’
    • ‘There was some speculation that he might simply be laying the melodrama on thick for the benefit of the crowd, but I don't see it.’
    • ‘I laid it on with a trowel, and of course she deserved it.’
    exaggerate, stretch the truth, overdo it, overstate one's case, embellish the truth
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