Help Wordnik hunt for a million missing words by backing our Kickstarter!


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To lay or spread over or on.
  • transitive v. To cover the surface of with a decorative layer or design: overlay wood with silver.
  • transitive v. To embellish superficially: a simple tune that was overlaid with ornate harmonies.
  • transitive v. Printing To put an overlay on.
  • transitive v. To create (a new area code) having the same boundaries as another: In Maryland, area code 240 was overlaid on top of area code 301.
  • n. Something that is laid over or covers something else.
  • n. A layer of decoration, such as gold leaf or wood veneer, applied to a surface.
  • n. Printing A piece of paper used on a press tympan to vary the pressure that produces light and dark tones.
  • n. A transparent sheet containing graphic matter, such as labels or colored areas, placed on illustrative matter to be incorporated into it.
  • n. An area code whose boundaries are the same as another area code.
  • v. Past tense of overlie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To lay, or spread, something over or across; to cover.
  • v. To overwhelm; to press excessively upon.
  • v. To smother with a close covering, or by lying upon.
  • v. To put an overlay on.
  • n. A piece of paper pasted upon the tympan sheet to improve the impression by making it stronger at a particular place.
  • n. Odds which are set higher than expected or warranted. Favorable odds.
  • n. A horse going off at higher odds than it appears to warrant, based on its past performances.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To lay, or spread, something over or across; hence, to cover; to overwhelm; to press excessively upon.
  • transitive v. To cover (an object made of an inexpensive metal, glass, or other material) with a thin sheet of an expensive metal, especially with silver or gold. Distinguished from to plate, which is done by a chemical or electrical deposition process.
  • transitive v. To smother with a close covering, or by lying upon.
  • transitive v. To put an overlay on.
  • n. A covering.
  • n. A piece of paper pasted upon the tympan sheet to improve the impression by making it stronger at a particular place.
  • n. A subroutine which occupies a portion of main memory which is occupied at some other time by another subroutine during execution of the same program. Overlays were used as an older technique to allow larger programs to be executed in restricted main memory space; the same effect is now accomplished by different techniques.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lay upon or over; cover or spread over the surface of: as, cedar overlaid with gold.
  • To burden or encumber; oppress.
  • To lie upon; hence, to smother by lying upon: for overlie.
  • To obscure by covering; cloud; overcast.
  • To span; join the opposite sides of.
  • In printing, to make even or graduate the impression of, on a printing-press, by means of overlays.
  • In printing, to use overlays.
  • n. In printing, a bit of paper accurately cut and pasted on the impression-surface of a printing-press with intent to increase the impression in a place where it is not strong enough.
  • n. In tile-ornamenting (by the process of pressing leaves, laces, or embossed patterns upon the unbaked tiles), a part of a leaf, cutting of lace, etc., which lies over and upon another leaf, cutting, or pattern.
  • n. A second tablecloth laid in various ways over a larger cloth on the table.
  • n. A cravat; a neckcloth.
  • n. Loosely, anything laid over another for protection or ornament.
  • n. In quarrying, the overburden or detrital material which covers the rock in a quarry.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. put something on top of something else
  • n. protective covering consisting, for example, of a layer of boards applied to the studs and joists of a building to strengthen it and serve as a foundation for a weatherproof exterior
  • n. a layer of decorative material (such as gold leaf or wood veneer) applied over a surface
  • v. kill by lying on


over- +‎ lay (compare overlie) (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.