Lay shaft Lay shaft, or Layshaft Lay"shaft`, n. (Mach.) A secondary shaft, as in a sliding change gear for an automobile; a cam shaft operated by a two-to-one gear in an internal-combustion engine. It is generally a shaft moving more or less independently of the other parts of a machine, as, in some marine engines, a shaft, driven by a small auxiliary engine, for independently operating the valves of the main engine to insure uniform motion. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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