Definition of waylay in English:



  • Stop or interrupt (someone) and detain them in conversation or trouble them in some other way:

    ‘he waylaid me on the stairs’
    • ‘It is easy to imagine travellers being waylaid here, even now, so imagine what it must have been like in the 17th century.’
    • ‘They also resolved that if he returned they would waylay him and give him a beating.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She followed the man and was about to waylay him when he suddenly stopped.’
    • ‘So, it appears all they did was to go and waylay the man.’
    • ‘With dark eyes peeping out from beneath her black shawl, she would happily waylay any child or adult who wandered past.’
    • ‘I want to do things, but I get waylaid by other thoughts or more pressing issues.’
    • ‘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?’’
    • ‘He decided that he would catch up with Kate by waylaying her on the road towards Cannon Hill.’
    • ‘In the ensuing days, several security force members were waylaid and injured or killed by civilian oppositionists.’
    • ‘Walking on the dusty roads we were waylaid by a woman looking for passengers for her bus.’
    • ‘Intrigued, Freney borrows a horse from the stable, takes a short cut across the fields, and waylays the agent.’
    • ‘Insurgents dressed as policemen waylaid the men at a fake checkpoint, killed all the soldiers and their civilian drivers, and burned the vehicles.’
    • ‘A couple of times he'd waylaid me, asking if I'd glance over his curriculum.’
    • ‘Unfortunately my attempts to convince my father were waylaid by my mother, who chose that moment to walk in.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mrs. Peck saw him about to rush into their house and managed to waylay him for a moment.’
    accost, detain, intercept, take aside, stop and talk to, pounce on, swoop down on, importune
    ambush, hold up, attack, assail, rob
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