Dictionary: LAWN – LAY'-CLERK

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LAWN, n.1 [W. llan, an open, clear place. It is the same, word as land, with an appropriate signification, and coincides with plain, planus, Ir. cluain, Sp. llano.]

An open space between woods, or a plain in a park or adjoining a noble seat. Betwixt them lawns or level downs, and flocks / Grazing the tender herbs, were interspers'd. – Milton.

LAWN, n.2 [Fr. linon, from lin, flax. L. linum.]

A sort of fine linen. Its use in the sleeves of bishops, explains the following line. A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn. – Pope.

LAWN'Y, a.

Consisting of lawn; like a lawn. [1841 Addenda only.]

LAWN'Y, a.

  1. Level, as a plain; like a lawn.
  2. Made of lawn. – Bp. Hall.

LAW'SUIT, n. [See Suit.]

A suit in law for the recovery of a supposed right; a process in law instituted by a party to compel another to do him justice.

LAW'YER, n. [that is, lawer, contracted from law-wer, law-man.]

One versed in the laws, or a practitioner of law; one whose profession is to institute suits in courts of law, and to prosecute or defend the cause of clients. This is a general term, comprehending attorneys, counselors, solicitors, barristers, sergeants and advocates.


Like a real lawyer.



LAX, a. [L. laxus; Sp. laso; It. lasso; Fr. lache, for lasche.]

  1. Loose; flabby; soft; not tense, firm or rigid; as, lax flesh; a lax fiber.
  2. Slack; not tight or tense; as, a lax cord.
  3. Not firmly united; of loose texture; as, gravel and the like laxer matter. – Woodward.
  4. Not rigidly exact; as, a lax moral discourse. – Baker.
  5. Not strict; as, lax morals.
  6. Loose in the intestines, and having too frequent discharges.

LAX, n.

  1. A looseness; diarrhea.
  2. A species of fish or salmon. [Sax. lax. Not in use.]

LAX-A'TION, n. [L. laxatio.]

The act of loosening or slackening; or the state of being loose or slackened.

LAX'A-TIVE, a. [Fr. laxatif, from L. laxo.]

Having the power or quality of loosening or opening the intestines, and relieving from constipation.


A medicine that relaxes the intestines and relieves from costiveness; a gentle purgative. Coxe.


The quality of relaxing.

LAX'I-TY, n. [L. laxitas.]

  1. Looseness; slackness; the opposite of tenseness or tension.
  2. Looseness of texture. – Bentley.
  3. Want of exactness or precision; as, laxity of expression.
  4. Looseness; defect of exactness; as, laxity of morals.
  5. Looseness, as of the intestines; the opposite of costiveness.
  6. Openness; not closeness.

LAX'LY, adv.

Loosely; without exactness. – Rees.


  1. Looseness; softness; flabbiness; as, the laxness of flesh or of muscles.
  2. Laxity; the opposite of tension.
  3. Looseness, as of morals or discipline.
  4. Looseness, as of the intestines.
  5. Slackness, as of a cord.

LAY, a. [Fr. lai, L. laicus; It. laico, Sp. lego, a layman; Gr. λαικος, from λαος, people; Sax. leod.]

Pertaining to the laity or people, as distinct from the clergy; not clerical; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother.

LAY, n.1

  1. That which lies or is laid; a row; a stratum; a layer; one rank in a series reckoned upward; as, a lay of wood. A viol should have a lay of wire-strings below. – Bacon.
  2. A bet; a wager. [Little used.] – Graunt.
  3. Station; rank. [Not used.]

LAY, n.2 [Sax. leag, leah, lege; W. lle; Russ. lug; L. locus; Fr. lieu. See Lay, the verb. The words which signify place, are from verbs which express setting or laying. It is written also ley, and lea, but less properly.]

A meadow; a plain or plat of grass land. A tuft of daisies on a flowery lay. – Dryden. The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea. – Gray.

LAY, n.3 [Sax. legh or ley; Gr. ληκεω, to sound. It might also be deduced from G. lied, a song; D. id.; Sax. leoth; Scot. leid, lede, or luid; Ir. lyidh; Gael. laoidh; from the root of loud, L. laudo, plaudo, Sax. hlydan.]

A song; as, a loud or soft lay; immortal lays. – Spenser. Milton. [It is used chiefly in poetry.]

LAY, v.i. [pret. of lie.]

The estate lay in the county of Hartford. When Ahab heard these words, he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his bead, and fasted and lay in sackcloth. 1 Kings xxi.

LAY, v.i.

  1. To bring or produce eggs. Hens will greedily eat the herb that will make them lay the better. – Mortimer.
  2. To contrive; to form a scheme. [Unusual.] To lay about, to strike or throw the arms on all sides; to act with vigor. – Spenser. South. To lay at, to strike or to endeavor to strike. The sword of him that layeth at him can not hold. Job. xii. To lay in for, to make overtures for; to engage or secure the possession of. I have laid in for these. – Dryden. To lay on, to strike; to beat; to deal blows incessantly and with vehemence. #2. To act with vehemence; used of expenses. Shak. To lay out, to purpose; to intend. He lays out to make a journey. #2. To take measures. I made strict enquiry wherever I came, and laid out for intelligence of all places. – Woodward. To lay upon, to importune. [Obs.]

LAY, v.t. [pret. and pp. laid. Sax. lecgan, legan; D. leggen; G. legen; Sw. lägga; Dan. legger; Russ. loju; L. loco, whence locus, W. lle, place, Eng. ley or lea; W. lleau, to lay. Hence Fr. lieu, Arm. lech, a place; Ir. legadh, Arm. lacqaat, to lay. The primary sense is to send or throw; hence this word is the L. lego, legare, differently applied; Gr. λεγομαι, to lie down; Eth. ለከአ, laka, to send, whence lackey. Class Lg, No. 1, 21. It coincides with lodge and with lie.]

  1. Literally, to throw down; hence, to put or place; applied to things broad or long, and in this respect differing from set. We lay a book on the table, when we place it on its side, but we set it on the end. We lay the foundation of a house, but we set a building on its foundation. He laid his robe from Him. – Jonah iii. Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid. – Illinois. A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den. – Dan. vi.
  2. To beat down; to prostrate. Violent winds with rain lay corn and grass.
  3. To settle; to fix and keep from rising. A shower lays the dust.
  4. To place in order; to dispose with regularity in building; as, to lay bricks or stones in constructing walls.
  5. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint.
  6. To spread or set; as, to lay snares.
  7. To calm; to appease; to still; to allay. After a tempest, when the winds are laid. – Waller.
  8. To quiet; to still; to restrain from walking; as, to lay the devil. – L'Estrange.
  9. To spread and set in order; to prepare; as, to lay a table for dinner.
  10. To place in the earth for growth. The chief time of laying gilly-flowers is in July. – Mortimer.
  11. To place at hazard; to wage; to stake; as, to lay a crown or an eagle; to lay a wager.
  12. To bring forth; to exclude; as, to lay eggs.
  13. To add; to join. Woe to them that join house to house, that lay field to field. – Is. v.
  14. To put; to apply. She layeth her hand to the spindle. – Prov. xxxi.
  15. To assess; to charge; to impose; as, to lay a tax on land; to lay a duty on salt.
  16. To charge; to impute; as, to lay blame on one; to lay a want of prudence to one's charge.
  17. To impose, as evil, burden, or punishment. The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all – Is. liii.
  18. To enjoin as a duty; as, to lay commands on one.
  19. To exhibit; to present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county.
  20. To prostrate; to slay. The leaders first He laid along. – Dryden.
  21. To depress and lose sight of, by sailing or departing from; as, to lay the land; a seaman's phrase.
  22. To station; to set; as, to lay an ambush.
  23. To contrive; to scheme; to plan. To lay a cable, to twist or unite the strands. To lay apart, to put away; to reject. Lay apart all filthiness. James i. To lay aside, to put off or away; not to retain. Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us. Heb. xii. #2. To discontinue; as, to lay aside the use of any thing. To lay away, to reposit in store; to put aside for preservation. To lay before, to exhibit; to show; to present to view. The papers are laid before Congress. To lay by, to reserve for future use. Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him. 1 Cor. xvi. #2. To put away; to dismiss. Let brave spirits not be laid by, as persons unnecessary for the time. – Bacon. #3. To put off. And she arose and went away, and laid by her veil. Gen. xxxviii. To lay down, to deposit, as a pledge, equivalent or satisfaction; to resign. I lay down my life for the sheep. John x. #2. To give up; to resign; to quit or relinquish; as, to lay down an office or commission. #3. To quit; to surrender the use of; as, to lay down one's arms. #4. To offer or advance; as, to lay down a proposition or principle. Addison. To lay one's self down, to commit to repose. I will both lay me down in peace and sleep. Ps. iv. To lay hold of, to seize; to catch. To lay hold on, is used in a like sense. – Locke. To lay in, to store; to treasure; to provide previously. – Addison. To lay on, to apply with force; to inflict; as, to lay on blows. To lay open, to open; to make bare; to uncover; also, to show; to expose; to reveal; as, to lay open the designs of an enemy. To lay over, to spread over; to incrust; to cover the surface; as, to lay over with gold or silver. To lay out, to expend; as, to lay out money, or sums of money. #2. To display; to discover. He takes occasion to lay out bigotry and false confidence in all its colors. [Obs.] – Atterbury. #3. To plan; to dispose in order the several parts; as, to lay out a garden. #4. To dress in grave clothes and place in a decent posture; as, to lay out a corpse. Shakspeare uses to lay forth. #5. To exert; as, to lay out all one's strength. So with the reciprocal pronoun, to lay one's self out, is to exert strength. #6. To intend or design; as, he lays out to journey in summer; probably from planning. No. 3. To lay to, to charge upon; to impute. – Sidney. #2. To apply with vigor. – Tusser. #3. To attack or harass. [Obs.] – Knolles. #4. To check the motion of a ship, and cause her to be stationary. To lay together, to collect; to bring to one place; also, to bring into one view. To lay to heart, to permit to affect greatly. To lay under, to subject to; as, to lay one under restraint, or obligation. To lay up, to store; to treasure; to reposit for future use. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven. – Matt. vi. #2. To confine to the bed or chamber. He is laid up with the great. To lay siege, to besiege; to encompass with an army. To lay wait, to station for private attack; to lay in ambush for. To lay the course, in sailing, is to sail toward the port intended, without gibing. To lay waste, to destroy; to desolate; to deprive of inhabitants, improvements and productions. To lay the land, in seamen's language, is to cause the land apparently to sink or appear lower, by sailing from it; the distance diminishing the elevation.


A vocal officiate in a cathedral. – Busby.