lay (out/down) something


1. explain or arrange something carefully and clearly






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lay out the options and then make a decision

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'Lay out' is a phrasal verb meaning to spread out something or to arrange a number of objects so that they are easily visible. Lay out can also mean to explain something step by step or in a clear way so that it is easy to understand. To lay out something also refers to how something is planned or arranged such as a room, a town or machinery. To lay out for something can also mean to spend money. When a dead body it's prepared so that people can come to view it before it is buried we also use the verb lay out.

To lay down can mean to give up or to surrender, for example, to lay down weapons. To lay down can also refer to an official statement of how something must be done or rules that must be followed. Laid down is also another way of saying lie down which is use more in spoken English. When you lay down the law it means to instruct someone on how to behave or how to act according to your expectations.

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. I don't like telling people what to do, so if someone comes to me for advice I prefer to lay out some options and then let them decide for themselves.
  2. The body was laid out in a white coffin and surrounded by flowers.
  3. The table was laid out beautifully with silver cutlery and crystal glassware.
  4. At the end of a hard days work we all lay down our tools and eat together.
  5. I have laid out all of the ingredients for the cake in the kitchen.
  6. Lay down your knives and forks when you are finished with the first course.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. The teacher laid down the rules to her students before handing out the exam papers.
  2. We couldn't decide on a course of action to overcome the stumbling block, so I started laying down some possible solutions and discussing their pros and cons.
  3. In the meeting, we discussed the direction the company should go in and laid down a roadmap for the next five years. 

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