Main definitions of overlay in US English:

: overlay1overlay2

overlay1

verboverlaid

[with object]
  • 1Cover the surface of (something) with a coating.

    ‘their fingernails were overlaid with silver or gold’
    • ‘The plates were then overlaid with an alkaline phosphatase assay solution.’
    • ‘The rest is overlaid by gradations of watered blue that have soaked into the canvas and recall stylized waves and clouds.’
    • ‘These areas are then overlaid with a curious but beautiful, whitish veil-like layer, as if to remind us that her scenes are fictive.’
    • ‘The unidentified base metals are overlaid with silver.’
    • ‘It's as though their scales are overlaid with black lace.’
    • ‘In the rest of the house all parts were overlaid with gold and adorned with gems and mother-of-pearl.’
    • ‘The entire deck is overlaid with a 50 mm thick layer of asphaltic concrete.’
    • ‘To achieve the texture she desired in her pastels she used a type of paper overlaid with pumice or sand in the 1920s.’
    • ‘These labels were overlaid with a sheet of self adhesive clear plastic film from a high street stationer and distributed to the house staff.’
    • ‘In the heavier thicknesses first overlay or butter the steel with the same filler metal and then weld the overlayed surface to the copper.’
    • ‘In several examples, the base metal is overlaid with silver, and many of the inlays are gold or silver.’
    cover, face, surface, veneer, inlay, laminate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Lie on top of.
      ‘a third screen which will overlay the others’
      • ‘She seems to be having some kind of a disco thing going on, with her screen overlaid three times on top of itself and a hundred horizontal bars racing up and down the picture.’
      • ‘Roads, trails, and streams were overlaid on cover maps to examine territory placement in relation to canopy gaps.’
      • ‘Could those boundaries have been overlaid on the summary map?’
      • ‘It looked as if the long wait was finally over when the estate agents' sign outside was overlaid with a ‘Sold’ sticker.’
      • ‘Imagine an integer grid overlaid on top of the puzzle with the origin at the center of the board.’
      • ‘Anatomical images have been overlaid with translucent, hand drawn figures.’
      • ‘These images were digitized and overlaid on a computer screen.’
      • ‘These images of well-known totalitarian architecture are overlaid with hazy blue patinas.’
      • ‘Decorations covered the walls and rugs overlaid the floor.’
      • ‘The results are displayed on a screen and often overlaid on a map.’
  • 2(of a quality or feeling) become more prominent than (a previous quality or feeling)

    ‘his openness had been overlaid by his new self-confidence’
    • ‘Football retained tenacious local loyalties, overlaid by denominational and social rivalries, mediated by the search for success and corresponding reward.’
    • ‘And then overlaying all of that, is the security concern.’
    • ‘Consequently, the difficult circumstances of their current situation are at least partially overlaid by a larger faith in the dignity of labor, the power of collective action, and the ultimate triumph of the working class.’
    • ‘Any of us can become terrified at any moment if fear overlays us.’
    • ‘Early detection of Addison's disease is not easy: non-specific symptoms and fatigue may be overlaid by signs of depression (as is also the case with hypothyroidism).’

noun

  • 1Something laid as a covering over something else.

    ‘a durable, cost-effective floor overlay’
    • ‘Some control surfaces get around the label problem with plastic overlays.’
    • ‘It occurs to me that one of the reasons the fake overlays work is that real ATMs these days are often so shoddily designed that they already look fake.’
    • ‘A second overlay or layer is recommended on thicker materials.’
    • ‘Watch how the pros produce stunning decorative overlays from start to finish, including surface preparation, pre-overlay repair, placing, and finishing.’
    • ‘The dust jacket comes in two parts, a paper jacket and a transparent overlay.’
    • ‘Lace is very popular on its own or as trimming - expect to see it worn during the day and used as an overlay for evening dresses.’
    • ‘Some distant street lights are casting patches of yellow criss-crossing branches as an overlay on the swirling flat ice surface.’
    • ‘In general, the concrete overlays appear to be effective in decreasing the rate of concrete deterioration.’
    • ‘With a new concrete overlay, however, the mile-long, two-lane pavement was placed in 20 calendar days.’
    • ‘More often, overlays are used by centers that did not maintain lanes properly in the past.’
    • ‘The company's warehouse floor serves as a testing ground for new finishes, overlays, and polishing techniques.’
    • ‘The liveliest of these were his watercolors, which imposed a certain delicacy of touch to his reliance on overlays of transparent washes to create complicated tonal weathers.’
    • ‘Trim the sheer overlay even with fashion fabric all around.’
    • ‘When shown a black number seven, these people begin to interpret it as a seven and see a yellow-coloured overlay on the digit even though they know the number is in black.’
    • ‘Films, coatings, and overlays generally become less cost effective as production quantities increase, especially when the entire surface of work pieces must be hardened.’
    • ‘This means they are not guaranteeing that the trim, the dress, the overlay, the lining, etc. or any part thereof will withstand soaking in water.’
    • ‘The literature says to space joints in feet the same as the thickness of the overlay in inches, but we wanted to try something different.’
    • ‘Stardek floor and wall overlay forms a strong, long-lasting bond with concrete and a range of other building materials.’
    • ‘The road-cuts there expose a deep overlay of sandy soil, very different from the black topsoil elsewhere in Iowa.’
    • ‘The bride looked radiant in an ivory gown of duchess satin, consisting of a bodice top with an overlay of embroidered lace and buttoning detail on the back.’
    covering, layer, face, surface, veneer, lamination, encrustation, carpet, blanket, sheet, curtain, canopy, cover, cloak, veil, pall, shroud, screen, mask, cloud, envelope
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A transparency placed over artwork or something such as a map, marked with additional information or detail.
      • ‘Analysts may create additional overlays as needed.’
      • ‘The structure of the painting reveals itself as do those anatomical diagrams with transparent overlays illustrating the separate skeletal, circulatory, pulmonary and muscular systems.’
      • ‘The two floorplans shown in the Appendix were photocopied onto acetate sheets that were used as overlays to classify the location of each unusual experience.’
      • ‘The semi-transparent overlay sheet can easily be folded back for placing photos or illustrations underneath for the purpose of tracing those images into your favorite editor.’
      • ‘This was done by making an exact one-sixth scale photographic reproduction of the painting and tracing the principal lines of the composition onto a clear transparent overlay.’
      • ‘Moreover, there were no paper maps or graphical overlays.’
      • ‘Use tracing paper overlays and a soft pencil to sketch new landscape ideas and plans over your base map.’
      • ‘Other diagrams are presented as overlays onto photographed images.’
      • ‘Selected reconnaissance areas are usually presented on a map overlay.’
      • ‘The age of the map hoard with its acetate overlays and alcohol pens should be over.’
      • ‘Soon the Army began innovation, turning to transparent overlays instead of blocks so that a permanent record of each move could be made.’
      • ‘The old drawing would simply have an overlay put over it illustrating the new detail.’
      • ‘Later an expansion was released that included a map overlay and two additional sets of player pieces.’
      • ‘Circle the corresponding number on the reader service card for more information about stampable vertical overlays.’
      • ‘Transparent overlays of green designated the bands that the Harrisons propose to return to nature.’
      • ‘The third overlay depicts information available on finances, business transactions, assets, and related issues.’
    2. 1.2 A graphical computer display which can be superimposed on another.
      • ‘Subscribers can also chat through a transparent overlay on their TV screen.’
      • ‘Channel surfing was quick and the overlay offered a lot of extra info about a program, including an original air date (I can't even get that info on my TiVo).’
      • ‘This will deliver what ANT calls a next generation user interface, which includes dynamic, animated and blended information overlays, suitable for a range of TV programs and for interactive services.’
      • ‘Actually, these head-to-head duels play out on a computer screen, superimposed in digital video overlay.’
      • ‘Unlike other systems, the device is not an overlay on the plasma display causing image degradation.’
  • 2Computing
    The process of transferring a block of program code or other data into internal memory, replacing what is already stored.

    • ‘New code was added to Maya to remove the requirement for hardware overlay in order to provide compatibility even with nonaccelerated drivers.’
    1. 2.1 A block of code or other data transferred during the overlay process.
      • ‘In addition, MCS-L does not allow users to relate or join external user-defined databases to overlays.’

Pronunciation

overlay

/ˌōvərˈlā//ˌoʊvərˈleɪ/

Main definitions of overlay in US English:

: overlay1overlay2

overlay2

Pronunciation

overlay

/ˌōvərˈlā//ˌoʊvərˈleɪ/