Definition of layer in English:

layer

noun

  • 1A sheet, quantity, or thickness of material, typically one of several, covering a surface or body.

    ‘bears depend on a layer of blubber to keep them warm in the water’
    figurative ‘a larger missile would provide a layer of defense at higher altitudes’
    • ‘Then an insulator material is layered over the base, followed by a layer of superconducting material.’
    • ‘Arrange a layer of fish, skin side down, at the bottom.’
    • ‘Thatch is a layer of fibrous material, which if it becomes too deep, prevents proper drainage of rain.’
    • ‘Over that there was a layer of soft black material, open at the front to show the red dress beneath.’
    • ‘In fresh, unhomogenized milk the droplets of fat float to the surface, forming a layer of ‘top of milk’.’
    • ‘Like your eyelashes, so blond they were only noticeable when you blinked and the top row met the bottom in a layer of double thickness.’
    • ‘Repeat until you have 3 layers of pumpkin filling, finishing with a layer of lasagne sheets.’
    • ‘Then they covered the surface with a layer of hydrogen atoms.’
    • ‘It has the same sidecut as the original, with changed graphics and a layer of metalic material.’
    • ‘In all cases, evaporation from the pots was minimized by covering the exposed surface with a layer of filter paper.’
    • ‘Depending on various factors, you might need to place a layer of base material on top of the subgrade.’
    • ‘These tissues then provide a layer of insulation between the body core and the surface.’
    • ‘In the case of a wall like this, because it's very densely packed, and then it is coated with a layer of plaster inside and outside, it's a zero fire hazard.’
    • ‘It was a layer of slime that coated every surface, reducing all materials to the same revolting color and dimming the lights to an anemic yellow.’
    • ‘Further, the ionization of the gas by the electrons removes the need to coat the sample with a layer of conductive material.’
    • ‘Cut the pasta sheets to size and arrange a layer of pasta over the base of the dish.’
    • ‘I hope you're aware that these walls are only a layer of sheet rock and a bit of plaster!’
    • ‘Once the desired quantity of trees had been installed, a layer of geotextile material was deposited on top to keep contaminants out of the stream.’
    • ‘Most polishes and waxes leave a layer of wax on surfaces to protect finish.’
    • ‘The glass is 1.5 inches thick with a layer of material sandwiched in between to further improve blast resistance.’
    coating, sheet, coat, surface, film, covering, blanket, skin, veneer, thickness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A level of seniority in the hierarchy of an organization.
      ‘a managerial layer’
      • ‘The North East voted against a Regional Assembly because it would be an expensive layer of government with no power to alter local laws for local people.’
      • ‘Finally, a complex system typically consists of multiple layers of organization, with each level complementing or comprising a higher level.’
      • ‘There are few layers of hierarchy, there is a simple, unified chain of command, and there is little horizontal differentiation.’
      • ‘Firstly, practices are small organisations with fewer layers of bureaucracy than most hospitals.’
      • ‘Choose a protégé you can learn from, too - someone who may give you some insight into different layers of your organization.’
      • ‘Now as boss, he invites discussion and says he is always trying to remove layers of hierarchy.’
      • ‘At the moment it is just levels and layers of bureaucracy.’
      • ‘Some might conclude that such programmes may add bureaucratic layers and burden to an already overtaxed system.’
      • ‘The bureaucratic layers between the U.S. forces and the secretary of defense were severed.’
      • ‘In recent years this has been achieved by removing layers of managers to create flatter organizations.’
      • ‘Taxes are traditionally collected at the lowest administrative level and each layer in the hierarchy can keep a cut of the taxes.’
      • ‘Instead, they were handled several layers down in the organization by people with clear and strong incentives to maximize revenues.’
      • ‘Many of these efforts focused on flattening the hierarchical structure or reducing the number of layers in the organization.’
      • ‘There are essentially four layers of hierarchical division within the Commission bureaucracy.’
      • ‘In consequence, there exists a whole layer of senior IT decision-makers devoted to the skills of managing the relationship.’
      • ‘Second, the structure of the Council is explored, with a view to identifying those individuals who together constitute the various layers of the Council hierarchy.’
      • ‘Just another electioneering pack of lies designed to mislead people into enabling yet a further layer of politicians to line their pockets at our expense.’
      • ‘But opponents of ‘regionalisation’ say it would merely add an extra layer of expensive bureaucracy and unwanted politicians.’
      • ‘Keep the number of reporting layers within your organization to a minimum.’
      • ‘In the two and a half years since Seattle this movement has grown in numbers, involving significantly greater layers of organised workers, and has deepened its critique of capitalism.’
  • 2[in combination] A person or thing that lays something.

    ‘the worms are prolific egg-layers’
    • ‘The actor is a former asphalt layer who is renowned in television circles for his singing voice.’
  • 3A shoot fastened down to take root while attached to the parent plant.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Arrange in a layer or layers.

    ‘the current trend for layered clothes’
    • ‘Not only do I save time, but the flavours are layered into the dish, building towards the finish.’
    • ‘Although I had allowed myself on more than one occasion to daydream and imagined myself in the lovely silk layered clothes of a lady.’
    • ‘Some people search for caribou through binoculars, others take turns napping in a crawl space that is layered with mattresses and sleeping bags.’
    • ‘The essential ingredients are sponge cake soaked in sherry or white wine, rich custard, fruit or jam, and whipped cream, layered in a glass dish in that order.’
    • ‘Anything that can be layered allows you to adapt easily to weather changes.’
    • ‘Check out the way I've layered the clothes on Dougie.’
    • ‘Sometimes they are made into a thick porridge like polenta, left to set and cut into shapes, layered in a dish with cheese and baked in the oven.’
    • ‘Fortunately many dishes that are layered, filled, or stuffed can be assembled a day ahead of the party.’
    • ‘Once that's all done, turn the heat down or off, whilst you layer sliced potatoes on top.’
    • ‘Clothes that can be layered with a variety of colors and styles work great.’
    • ‘They store for several months if you layer them with pickling salt in a covered jar in the refrigerator.’
    • ‘Pastilla is a layered pastry dish combining almonds and shredded meat.’
    • ‘Have you ever layered bananas with dried dates, poured cream over them and left them to chill for a couple of hours so that the dates become soft and sticky?’
    • ‘On the day of the study, subjects wore what they normally wore to work: rubberized apron, gloves and boots layered above cotton clothes.’
    • ‘The tantalising pomme Anna consisted of Charlotte potatoes sliced, layered and caramelised with rosemary butter.’
    • ‘Bed linens are draped, layered and pleated in three grand monochrome compositions that achieve the stately sublimity of religious art.’
    • ‘A bell-sleeved tunic was layered over a leotard vest.’
    1. 1.1 Cut (hair) in overlapping layers.
      ‘her layered, shoulder-length hair’
      • ‘He had long, straight, layered brown hair and green eyes.’
      • ‘Alex had shoulder length, layered blonde hair and perfectly shaped eyebrows that came with a set of perfect brown, cat-like eyes.’
      • ‘The first female had layered blond hair and glittering green eyes.’
      • ‘At the moment her hair was layered, and light brown with hot pink tips.’
      • ‘Ashlee's hair is layered to just below her shoulders.’
      • ‘Her long, black hair was layered and strewn seductively over her shoulders and back.’
      • ‘Abby had flared out layered blonde hair with red highlights throughout and steaming brown eyes.’
      • ‘Tilting my head, I saw Gabby along with the whole squad of Freshmen cheerleaders, all seemingly identical with their uniforms, long nails, pouty lips, and layered hair.’
      • ‘His hair was layered and flipped out in different directions.’
      • ‘She had long layered black hair, which looked bluish purple in some light.’
      • ‘I layered my hair, I wore clogs, I floated around in gauzy peasant shirts and played my folk guitar.’
      • ‘Other than the cut, they also layered my hair all over the back to give it more body but left the front layers long and without any tapering in order to better frame my face.’
      • ‘She has short, red, layered hair that stops just below her ears.’
      • ‘She watched as a woman entered the room, pushing layered gold-brown hair away from her face.’
      • ‘I pulled a brush through my long and layered black hair.’
      • ‘She twirled her fingers in his long, artfully layered auburn hair.’
      • ‘Her hair was perfectly layered and moved beautifully around her throughout the episode!’
      • ‘My formerly straight hair was now layered and somewhat puffy.’
      • ‘Find and inspect some pictures of people with curly, layered hair.’
      • ‘He had layered red hair, the longest parts reaching just past the nape of his neck, which flipped around his head in a semi-messy manner.’
  • 2Propagate (a plant) as a layer.

    ‘a layered shoot’
    • ‘Autumn or early spring is a good time to start layering a shrub.’
    • ‘In most cases you are advised to leave the layering until the plant is in growth the following year.’
    • ‘If you're planning to share this shrub with a friend, you can layer it directly into a pot.’
    • ‘It is also propagated by layering, divisions and by seed which it sets in profusion.’
    • ‘Rather than buying more plants, Eva propagates her own by layering.’
    • ‘One of the easiest ways to propagate shrubs is by layering - bending down a branch so it roots directly in the soil.’
    • ‘To propagate, follow the same procedure as with red currants - take cuttings in late fall or early spring, or propagate by layering.’
    • ‘He keeps his going to get a second crop by layering it.’
    • ‘Autumn is a good time to propagate shrubs by layering, a simple technique that can also be done in spring.’
    • ‘Raise new plants from seeds or cuttings, and by layering, and provide support with trellises, pergolas and other structures.’
    • ‘Some plants propagate naturally by layering, but sometimes plant propagators assist the process.’
    • ‘Propagation can be done by air layering but patience is required as it may take awhile before layered segments root and can be removed from the parent plant.’
    • ‘Because it required excessive care and patience, air layering was used only by the highly trained plantsman.’

Origin

Middle English (denoting a mason): from lay + -er. The sense stratum of material covering a surface (early 17th century) may represent a respelling of an obsolete agricultural use of lair denoting quality of soil.

Pronunciation

layer

/ˈlāər/