lay out

lay out

  1. (transitive) To expend or contribute money to an expense or purchase.
    • 1677, Hannah Woolley, The Compleat Servant-Maid, London: T. Passinger, p. 63,
      […] you must endeavour to take off your Mistress from all the care you can, giving to her a just and true account of what moneys you lay out for her, shewing your self thrifty in all your disbursements.
    • 1843, Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present (book), book 2, ch. X, Government
      There are but two ways of paying debt: increase of industry in raising income, increase of thrift in laying it out.
  2. (transitive) To arrange in a certain way, so as to spread or space apart; to display (e.g. merchandise or a collection).
    She laid the blocks out in a circle on the floor.
  3. (transitive) To explain; to interpret.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. Stephanus pagination.
      Because his opinions are all over the place, they find it easy to scrutinise them and lay them out […]
  4. (transitive) To concoct; think up.
    • 1884: Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Chapter VII
      It was about dark now; so I dropped the canoe down the river under some willows that hung over the bank, and waited for the moon to rise. I made fast to a willow; then I took a bite to eat, and by and by laid down in the canoe to smoke a pipe and lay out a plan.
  5. To prepare a body for burial.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 28
      So that no white sailor seriously contradicted him when he said that if ever Captain Ahab should be tranquilly laid out— which might hardly come to pass, so he muttered—then, whoever should do that last office for the dead, would find a birth-mark on him from crown to sole.
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 6
      The family was alone in the parlour with the great polished box. William, when laid out, was six feet four inches long. Like a monument lay the bright brown, ponderous coffin.
  6. (transitive, colloquial) To render (someone) unconscious; to knock out; to cause to fall to the floor.
  7. (transitive, colloquial) To scold or berate.
  8. (intransitive, US, colloquial) To lie in the sunshine.
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