from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An act of passing something along from one person, group, or station to another.
  • noun A relay race.
  • noun A division of a relay race.
  • noun Electronics A device that responds to a small current or voltage change by activating switches or other devices in an electric circuit.
  • noun A crew of workers who relieve another crew; a shift.
  • noun A fresh team, as of horses or dogs, to relieve weary animals in a hunt, task, or journey.
  • transitive verb To pass along by or as if by relay.
  • transitive verb To supply with fresh relays.
  • transitive verb Electronics To control or retransmit by means of a relay.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To lay again; lay a second time: as, to relay a pavement.
  • noun In telegraphy, the circuit operated by a relay.
  • To transmit by means of a telegraphic or telephonic relay; make use of a relay.
  • noun A fresh supply, especially of animals to be substituted for others; specifically, a fresh set of dogs or horses, in hunting, held in readiness to be cast off or to remount the hunters should occasion require, or a relief supply of horses held in readiness for the convenience of travelers.
  • noun A squad of men to take a spell or turn of work at stated intervals: a shift.
  • noun Generally, a supply of anything laid up or kept in store for relief or fresh supply from time to time.
  • noun An instrument, consisting principally of an electromagnet with the armature delicately adjusted for a slight motion about an axis, and with contact-points so arranged that the movement of the armature in obedience to the signals transmitted over the line puts a battery, known as the local battery, into or out of a short local circuit in which is the recording or receiving apparatus. Also called relaymagnet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Mach.) Relating to, or having the characteristics of, an auxiliary apparatus put into action by a feeble force but itself capable of exerting greater force, used to control a comparatively powerful machine or appliance.
  • transitive verb To lay again; to lay a second time.
  • noun A supply of anything arranged beforehand for affording relief from time to time, or at successive stages; provision for successive relief.
  • noun A supply of horses placced at stations to be in readiness to relieve others, so that a trveler may proceed without delay.
  • noun A supply of hunting dogs or horses kept in readiness at certain places to relive the tired dogs or horses, and to continue the pursuit of the game if it comes that way.
  • noun A number of men who relieve others in carrying on some work.
  • noun (Elec.) In various forms of telegraphic apparatus, a magnet which receives the circuit current, and is caused by it to bring into into action the power of a local battery for performing the work of making the record; also, a similar device by which the current in one circuit is made to open or close another circuit in which a current is passing.
  • noun (Elec.) the local battery which is brought into use by the action of the relay magnet, or relay.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Alternative spelling of re-lay.

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

  • verb control or operate by relay
  • verb pass along
  • noun a crew of workers who relieve another crew
  • noun a race between teams; each member runs or swims part of the distance
  • noun electrical device such that current flowing through it in one circuit can switch on and off a current in a second circuit
  • noun the act of passing something along from one person or group to another
  • noun a fresh team to relieve weary draft animals


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

[Middle English relai, fresh team of dogs for a hunt, from Old French, from relaier, to relay : re-, re- + laier, to leave (of Germanic origin; see leip- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French relai ("reserve pack of hounds"), from relaier ("to exchange tired animals for fresh"); literally, "to leave behind", from Old French relaier ("to leave behind"), from re- + laier ("to leave"), of uncertain origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

re- +‎ lay


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