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.

    • ‘Before she started publishing her guidebooks, the words in most botanical tomes were laid on with a trowel, leaving no room for illustrations.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He knows how to lay it on thick when he needs to, you know?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘I laid it on with a trowel, and of course she deserved it.’
    • ‘Occasionally, the tone can be too sentimental and some of the historic background is laid on with a trowel, but these are quibbles.’
    • ‘She lays it on thick about how she's always loved your work and how she thinks you could make beautiful music together.’
    • ‘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.’
    exaggerate, stretch the truth, overdo it, overstate one's case, embellish the truth
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