I. intransitive verb
(lay; lain; lying)
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English licgan; akin to Old High German ligen to lie, Latin lectus bed, Greek lechos
Date: before 12th century
a. to be or to stay at rest in a horizontal position ; be prostrate ; rest, recline <lie motionless> <lie asleep> b. to assume a horizontal position — often used with down c. archaic to reside temporarily ; stay for the night ; lodge d. to have sexual intercourse — used with with e. to remain inactive (as in concealment) <lie in wait> 2. to be in a helpless or defenseless state <the town lay at the mercy of the invaders> 3. of an inanimate thing to be or remain in a flat or horizontal position upon a broad support <books lying on the table> 4. to have direction ; extend <the route lay to the west> 5. a. to occupy a certain relative place or position <hills lie behind us> b. to have a place in relation to something else <the real reason lies deeper> c. to have an effect through mere presence, weight, or relative position <remorse lay heavily on him> d. to be sustainable or admissible 6. to remain at anchor or becalmed 7. a. to have place ; exist <the choice lay between fighting or surrendering> b. consist, belong <the success of the book lies in its direct style> <responsibility lay with the adults> 8. remain; especially to remain unused, unsought, or uncared for Usage: see lay • lier noun II. noun Date: 1697 1. chiefly British lay 6 2. the position or situation in which something lies <a golf ball in a difficult lie> 3. the haunt of an animal (as a fish) ; covert 4. British an act or instance of lying or resting III. verb (lied; lying) Etymology: Middle English, from Old English lēogan; akin to Old High German liogan to lie, Old Church Slavic lŭgati Date: before 12th century intransitive verb 1. to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive 2. to create a false or misleading impression transitive verb to bring about by telling lies <lied his way out of trouble> Synonyms: lie, prevaricate, equivocate, palter, fib mean to tell an untruth. lie is the blunt term, imputing dishonesty <lied about where he had been>. prevaricate softens the bluntness of lie by implying quibbling or confusing the issue <during the hearings the witness did his best to prevaricate>. equivocate implies using words having more than one sense so as to seem to say one thing but intend another <equivocated endlessly in an attempt to mislead her inquisitors>. palter implies making unreliable statements of fact or intention or insincere promises <a swindler paltering with his investors>. fib applies to a telling of a trivial untruth <fibbed about the price of the new suit>. IV. noun Etymology: Middle English lige, lie, from Old English lyge; akin to Old High German lugī, Old English lēogan to lie Date: before 12th century 1. a. an assertion of something known or believed by the speaker to be untrue with intent to deceive b. an untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker 2. something that misleads or deceives 3. a charge of lying
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.