Definition of lie in wait in US English:

lie in wait


  • Conceal oneself, waiting to surprise, attack, or catch someone.

    • ‘She was so excited about the surprise that was lying in wait for her that she could feel the butterflies in her stomach.’
    • ‘However, two vessels of the Royal Navy were lying in wait and attacked early the next day.’
    • ‘By draining the land, by planting trees, by practising a newer sensitive agriculture, we can get them to go back down again, but they're always lying in wait to catch us out.’
    • ‘Once her identity is known they will investigate whether it was an opportunist attack or if someone she knew was lying in wait.’
    • ‘Unpleasant surprises lie in wait for everybody.’
    • ‘The killer may have lain in wait before attacking as there was no sign of forced entry and the club has a tight security system.’
    • ‘The gunman appeared to have lain in wait and caught him as he was walking out of his home in an unlit alleyway.’
    • ‘No matter how alert, attentive or prepared you are, stupidity is always lying in wait around the corner, and it'll catch you sooner or later.’
    • ‘Don't think of the garden spot as a place where a wide variety of animals, miniscules and vegetables are lying in wait to attack the plants you want to grow.’
    • ‘He had been drinking at a pub near his home when he hid in the toilets and lay in wait to attack an innocent member of the public.’