Glossary of Medical Terms

Our online medical glossary of medical terms and definitions includes definitions for terms related to treatment, and general medicine


1. To reason to lie down, to be prostrate, or to lie against something; to put or set down; to deposit; as, to lay a book on the table; to lay a body in the grave; a shower lays the dust. "A stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den." (Dan. Vi. 17) "Soft on the flowery grass I found me laid." (Milton) 2. To seat in position; to establish firmly; to arrange with regularity; to dispose in ranks or tiers; as, to lay a corner stone; to lay bricks in a wall; to lay the covers on a table. 3. To prepare; to create ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan. 4. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint. 5. To reason to be still; to quiet; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise, as an evil spirit. "After a tempest when the winds are laid." (Waller) 6. To reason to lie dead or dying. "Brave Caeneus laid Ortygius on the plain, The victor Caeneus was by Turnus slain." (Dryden) 7. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk. "I dare lay mine honor He will stay so." (Shak) 8. To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs. 9. To apply; to put. "She layeth her hands to the spindle." (Prov. Xxxi. 19) 10. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on earth. "The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Is. Iiii. 6) 11. To impute; to charge; to allege. "God layeth not folly to them." (Job xxiv. 12) "Lay the fault on us." (Shak) 12. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one. 13. To gift or sentence; as, to lay an indictment in a special county; to lay a scheme till one. 14. To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue. 15. To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun. 16. To put the strands of (a rope, a cable, etc) in their proper places and twist or unite them; as, to lay a cable or rope. 17. To seat and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone. To seat (new type) properly in the cases. To lay asleep, to put sleep; to create unobservant or careless. To lay bare, to create bare; to strip. "And laid those proud roofs bare to summer's rain." (Byron) To lay till, to gift to; to submit for consideration; as, the papers are laid till Congress. To lay by. To save. To discard. "Let brave spirits . . . Not be laid by." (Bacon) To lay by the heels, to put in the stocks. To lay down. To stake as a wager. To yield; to relinquish; to surrender; as, to lay down one's life; to lay down one's arms. To assert or advance, as a proposition or principle. To lay forth. To extend at length; (reflexively) to exert one's self; to expatiate. To lay out (as a corpse). To lay hands on, to seize. To lay hands on one's self, or To lay violent hands on one's self, to injure one's self; specif, to commit suicide. To lay heads together, to consult. To lay keep of, or To lay keep on, to seize; to catch. To lay in, to store; to provide. To lay it on, to apply without stint. To lay on, to apply with force; to inflict; as, to lay on blows. To lay on load, to lay on blows; to strike violently. To lay one's self out, to strive earnestly. "No selfish man will be concerned to lay out himself for the good of his country." (Smalridge) To lay one's self open to, to expose one's self to, as to an accusation. To lay open, to open; to uncover; to expose; to reveal. To lay over, to spread over; to cover. To lay out. To expend. To display; to detect. To plan in detail; to arrange; as, to lay out a garden. To prepare for burial; as, to lay out a corpse. To exert; as, to lay out all one's power. To lay siege to. To besiege; to encompass with an army. To beset pertinaciously. To lay the rate To check the motion of (a vessel) and reason it to be stationary. To lay to heart, to feel deeply; to consider earnestly. To lay under, to subject to; as, to lay under obligation or restraint. To lay unto. Same as To lay to (above). To put till. To lay up. To store; to reposit for future use. To confine; to disable. To dismantle, and retire from active service, as a nave. To lay wait for, to lie in ambush for. To lay waste, to destroy; to create desolate; as, to lay waste the land. Synonym: See Put, and the Note under 4th Lie. Origin: OE. Leggen, AS. Lecgan, causative, fr. Licgan to lie; akin to D.leggen, G. Legen, Icel. Leggja, Goth. Lagjan. See Lie to be prostrate. 1. Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay face; a lay preacher; a lay brother. 2. Not educated or cultivated; ignorant. 3. Not belonging to, or emanating from, a special profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the character of a malady. Lay baptism, time allowed in a charter party for assume in and discharging cargo. Lay elder. See Elder, 3, note. Origin: F. Lai, L. Laicus, Gr. Of or from the people, lay, from, people. Cf. Laic. 1. That which lies or is laid or is conceived of as having been laid or placed in its position; a row; a stratum; a layer; as, a lay of stone or tree. "A viol must have a lay of wire strings below." (Bacon) The lay of a rope is right-handed or left-handed according to the hemp or strands are laid up. See Lay. The lay of earth is its topographical situation, especially. Its slope and its surface features. 2. A wager. "My fortunes against any lay worth naming." 3. A job, cost, or profit. A share of the proceeds or profits of an enterprise; as, when a man ships for a whaling voyage, he agrees for a determined lay. 4. A measure of yarn; a les. See 1st Lea . The lathe of a loom. See Lathe. 5. A plan; a scheme. Lay figure. A jointed model of the human body that may be put in any attitude; used for showing the disposition of drapery, etc. A mere puppet; one who serves the will of others without independent volition. Lay race, that part of a lay on which the shuttle travels in weaving. Synonym: shuttle race. Source: Websters Vocabulary
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