the way, direction, or position in which something lies:he was familiarizing himself with the lie of the streets
Golf the position in which a golf ball comes to rest, especially as regards the ease of the next shot:the lie, in deep rough on a bank, was not good
the lair or place of cover of an animal or a bird.
1(of a person or animal) be in or assume a horizontal or resting position on a supporting surface:the body lay face downwards on the grassI had to lie down because I was groggyLily lay back on the pillows and watched him
(of a thing) rest flat on a surface:a book lay open on the table
(of a dead person) be buried in a particular place:his body lies in a crypthis epitaph reads ‘Here lies Garcia, King of Galicia and Portugal’
2be, remain, or be kept in a specified state:the abbey lies in ruins todayputting homeless families into private houses that would otherwise lie empty
(of something abstract) reside or be found:the solution lies in a return to traditional values
3(of a place) be situated in a specified position or direction:Kexby lies about five miles due east of York
(of a scene) extend from the observer’s viewpoint in a specified direction:stand here, and all of Amsterdam lies before you
British (of a competitor or team) be in a specified position during a competition or within a group:United are currently lying in fifth place
4 Law (of an action, charge, or claim) be admissible or sustainable:an action for restitution would lie for money paid in breach of the law
let something lie
take no action regarding a problematic matter:‘Are you planning a follow-up to the programme?’ ‘No, we’ll let it lie for now.’
lie heavy on one
cause one to feel troubled or uncomfortable:it was the loss of human life that lay heavy on him
lie in state
(of the corpse of a person of national importance) be laid in a public place of honour before burial:the candlelit chapel where the king’s body lay in state
(especially of a criminal) keep out of sight; avoid detection or attention:at the time of the murder he appears to have been lying low in a barn
the lie (North Americanlay) of the land
the features or characteristics of an area:a night patrol about to scout out the lie of the land
the current situation:she was beginning to see the lie of the land with her in-laws
take something lying down
[usually with negative] accept an insult, setback, or rebuke without protest:she’s laughing at me for being weak and I’m not going to take it lying down any longer
be going to happen:I’m excited by what lies ahead
(of an object) be left carelessly out of place:I became irritated at the pills and potions lying around the house
(of a person) pass the time lazily or aimlessly:you all just lay around all day on your backsides, didn’t you?
be the real, often hidden, reason for (something):a subtle strategy lies behind such silly claims
British remain in bed after the normal time for getting up:if I’m not due anywhere I’ll lie in until something kick-starts the day
archaic (of a pregnant woman) go to bed to give birth:five hungry children, and a wife lying in of a sixth
Nautical (of a ship) stand some distance from shore or from another ship.
US break one’s journey:we’ll lie over in New York, then fly to London
Nautical (of a ship) come almost to a stop with its head towards the wind.
(of a ship) go into dock or be out of commission.
1(of a responsibility) be attributable to (someone):ultimate responsibility for the violence lies with the President
2 archaic have sexual intercourse with:if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife