Definition of waylay in English:



[with object]
  • Stop or interrupt (someone) and detain them in conversation or trouble them in some other way.

    ‘he waylaid me on the stairs’
    • ‘Intrigued, Freney borrows a horse from the stable, takes a short cut across the fields, and waylays the agent.’
    • ‘In the ensuing days, several security force members were waylaid and injured or killed by civilian oppositionists.’
    • ‘She followed the man and was about to waylay him when he suddenly stopped.’
    • ‘Employees treat their boss like an ambulatory suggestion box, constantly waylaying him in the hall with ideas large and small.’
    • ‘She tried repeatedly to waylay him, but succeeded only once, in November 1935.’
    • ‘Most likely the stranger is just one of those unsavory fellows who waylay innocent travelers and such, and does not wish to be known to us.’
    • ‘Walking on the dusty roads we were waylaid by a woman looking for passengers for her bus.’
    • ‘It is easy to imagine travellers being waylaid here, even now, so imagine what it must have been like in the 17th century.’
    • ‘I want to do things, but I get waylaid by other thoughts or more pressing issues.’
    • ‘A couple of times he'd waylaid me, asking if I'd glance over his curriculum.’
    • ‘So, it appears all they did was to go and waylay the man.’
    • ‘Unfortunately my attempts to convince my father were waylaid by my mother, who chose that moment to walk in.’
    • ‘There was more adverse publicity when the actor was accused of being insufferably rude to a television reporter as she waylaid him with her camera team.’
    • ‘But I was waylaid by Donny, who timidly requested, ‘Would you mind walking in the gardens with me?’’
    • ‘One good lady, a prominent member of the Church of Scotland, waylaid me in the street and gave me a big hug, saying she had never before hugged a Catholic priest.’
    • ‘Mrs. Peck saw him about to rush into their house and managed to waylay him for a moment.’
    • ‘They also resolved that if he returned they would waylay him and give him a beating.’
    • ‘With dark eyes peeping out from beneath her black shawl, she would happily waylay any child or adult who wandered past.’
    • ‘He decided that he would catch up with Kate by waylaying her on the road towards Cannon Hill.’
    • ‘Insurgents dressed as policemen waylaid the men at a fake checkpoint, killed all the soldiers and their civilian drivers, and burned the vehicles.’
    ambush, hold up, attack, assail, rob
    accost, detain, intercept, take aside, stop and talk to, pounce on, swoop down on, importune
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