The word ‘lay‘ can mean many different things. As a verb, the meaning is to place something down gently.

For example:

  • He laid the puppy into his basket. (place gently)


Lay is an irregular verb. The past tense is laid and the past participle is laid.

phrasal verbs with lay

Phrasal verbs with ‘lay’ include:

  • lay down
    meaning – establish rules or place something onto a surface
    example – The Police are laying down the law to my son. He was caught graffitiing the town hall.
  • lay into
    meaning – fiercely shout at or beat someone
    example – The shop keeper caught the thief stealing and laid into him with a baseball bat.
  • lay off
    meaning – make someone redundant or stop doing something annoying/bad
    example – It’s about time you laid off George. You’re bullying him.
  • lay on
    meaning – provide something
    example – The council are laying on extra trains during December.
  • lay out
    meaning – arrange/display something or knock someone unconscious
    example – The catering staff laid out all of the table decorations ready for the wedding.

picture phrasal verbs with lay

phrasal verbs with lay

Let’s learn the meaning of the phrasal verbs that contain the verb ‘lay’ in more detail and see some examples in use.

phrasal verbs with lay - lay down
phrasal verbs with lay - lay into
phrasal verbs with lay - lay off
phrasal verbs with lay - lay on
phrasal verbs with lay - lay out

You can download a table of phrasal verbs with lay below.

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