Webster's Dictionary, 1913
Lavoltateer noun A dancer of the lavolta.
Lavour noun A laver. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.
[ Middle English lawe
, Anglo-Saxon lagu
, from the root of English lie
: akin to Old Saxon lag
, Icelandic lög
, Swedish lag
, Danish lov
; confer Latin lex
, English legal
. A law
is that which is laid
, set, or fixed; like statute
, from Latin statuere
to make to stand. See Lie
to be prostrate.] 1. In general, a rule of being or of conduct, established by an authority able to enforce its will; a controlling regulation; the mode or order according to which an agent or a power acts.
» A law may be universal or particular, written or unwritten, published or secret. From the nature of the highest laws a degree of permanency or stability is always implied; but the power which makes a law, or a superior power, may annul or change it.
These are the statutes and judgments and laws , which the Lord made. Lev. xxvi. 46.
The law of thy God, and the law of the King. Ezra vii. 26.
As if they would confine the Interminable . . . Milton.
Who made our laws to bind us, not himself.
His mind his kingdom, and his will his law . Cowper. 2. In morals: The will of God as the rule for the disposition and conduct of all responsible beings toward him and toward each other; a rule of living, conformable to righteousness; the rule of action as obligatory on the conscience or moral nature. 3. The Jewish or Mosaic code, and that part of Scripture where it is written, in distinction from the gospel ; hence, also, the Old Testament.
What things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law . . . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. Rom. iii. 19, 21. 4.
In human government: (a) An organic rule, as a constitution or charter, establishing and defining the conditions of the existence of a state or other organized community. (b) Any edict, decree, order, ordinance, statute, resolution, judicial, decision, usage, etc., or recognized, and enforced, by the controlling authority. 5. In philosophy and physics: A rule of being, operation, or change, so certain and constant that it is conceived of as imposed by the will of God or by some controlling authority; as, the law of gravitation; the laws of motion; the law heredity; the laws of thought; the laws of cause and effect; law of self- preservation. 6. In mathematics: The rule according to which anything, as the change of value of a variable, or the value of the terms of a series, proceeds; mode or order of sequence. 7. In arts, works, games, etc.: The rules of construction, or of procedure, conforming to the conditions of success; a principle, maxim; or usage; as, the laws of poetry, of architecture, of courtesy, or of whist. 8. Collectively, the whole body of rules relating to one subject, or emanating from one source; -- including usually the writings pertaining to them, and judicial proceedings under them; as, divine law ; English law ; Roman law ; the law of real property; insurance law . 9. Legal science; jurisprudence; the principles of equity; applied justice.
Reason is the life of the law ; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason. Coke.
Law is beneficence acting by rule. Burke.
And sovereign Law , that state's collected will Sir W. Jones. 10. Trial by the laws of the land; judicial remedy; litigation; as, to go law .
O'er thrones and globes elate,
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill.
When every case in law is right. Shak.
He found law dear and left it cheap. Brougham. 11. An oath, as in the presence of a court.
[ Obsolete] See Wager of law
, under Wager
. Avogadro's law (Chemistry)
, a fundamental conception, according to which, under similar conditions of temperature and pressure, all gases and vapors contain in the same volume the same number of ultimate molecules; -- so named after Avogadro , an Italian scientist. Sometimes called Ampère's law .
-- Bode's law (Astron.)
, an approximative empirical expression of the distances of the planets from the sun, as follows: --
Law transitive verb Same as Lawe , transitive verb
[ Confer La
.] An exclamation of mild surprise.
[ Archaic or Low]
Law-abiding adjective Abiding the law; waiting for the operation of law for the enforcement of rights; also, abiding by the law; obedient to the law; as, law-abiding people.
Lawbreaker noun One who disobeys the law; a criminal. -- Law"break`ing , noun & adjective
Lawe transitive verb
[ See 2d Lawing
.] To cut off the claws and balls of, as of a dog's fore feet. Wright.
Lawer noun A lawyer. [ Obsolete] Bale.
Lawful adjective 1. Conformable to law; allowed by law; legitimate; competent. 2. Constituted or authorized by law; rightful; as, the lawful owner of lands. Lawful age
, the age when the law recognizes one's right of independent action; majority; -- generally the age of twenty-one years.
» In some of the States, and for some purposes, a woman attains lawful age
at eighteen. Abbott. Syn.
-- Legal; constitutional; allowable; regular; rightful. -- Lawful
means conformable to the principle, spirit, or essence of the law, and is applicable to moral as well as juridical law. Legal
means conformable to the letter or rules of the law as it is administered in the courts; conformable to juridical law. Legal
is often used as antithetical to equitable
, but lawful
is seldom used in that sense. -- Law"ful*ly
Lawgiver noun One who makes or enacts a law or system of laws; a legislator.
Lawgiving adjective Enacting laws; legislative.
Lawing noun Going to law; litigation. Holinshed.
Lawing noun [ So called because done in compliance with an English forest law .] Expeditation. Blackstone.
Lawless adjective 1. Contrary to, or unauthorized by, law; illegal; as, a lawless claim.
He needs no indirect nor lawless course. Shak. 2. Not subject to, or restrained by, the law of morality or of society; as, lawless men or behavior. 3. Not subject to the laws of nature; uncontrolled.
Or, meteorlike, flame lawless through the void. Pope.
Lawmaker noun A legislator; a lawgiver.
Lawmaking (la"mā`kĭng) adjective Enacting laws; legislative. -- noun The enacting of laws; legislation.
Lawmonger noun A trader in law; one who practices law as if it were a trade. Milton.
[ Middle English laund
, French lande
heath, moor; of Celtic origin; confer W. llan
an open, clear place, llawnt
a smooth rising hill, lawn, Armor. lann
territory, country, lann
a prickly plant, plural lannou
heath, moor.] 1. An open space between woods. Milton.
"Orchard lawns and bowery hollows." Tennyson. 2. Ground (generally in front of or around a house) covered with grass kept closely mown. Lawn mower
, a machine for clipping the short grass of lawns.
-- Lawn tennis
, a variety of the game of tennis, played in the open air, sometimes upon a lawn, instead of in a tennis court. See Tennis .
[ Earlier laune lynen
, i. e., lawn linen
; probably from the town Laon
in France.] A very fine linen (or sometimes cotton) fabric with a rather open texture. Lawn is used for the sleeves of a bishop's official dress in the English Church, and, figuratively, stands for the office itself.
A saint in crape is twice a saint in lawn . Pope.
[ Obsolete] See Laund .
(lan"ȳ) adjective Having a lawn; characterized by a lawn or by lawns; like a lawn.
Musing through the lawny park. T. Warton.
Lawny adjective Made of lawn or fine linen. Bp. Hall.
Lawsonia noun (Botany) An Asiatic and North African shrub ( Lawsonia inermis ), with smooth oval leaves, and fragrant white flowers. Henna is prepared from the leaves and twigs. In England the shrub is called Egyptian privet , and in the West Indies, Jamaica mignonette .
Lawsuit noun An action at law; a suit in equity or admiralty; any legal proceeding before a court for the enforcement of a claim.
[ From Law
, like bowyer
, from bow
.] 1. One versed in the laws, or a practitioner of law; one whose profession is to conduct lawsuits for clients, or to advise as to prosecution or defence of lawsuits, or as to legal rights and obligations in other matters. It is a general term, comprehending attorneys, counselors, solicitors, barristers, sergeants, and advocates. 2. (Zoology) (a) The black-necked stilt. See Stilt . (b) The bowfin ( Amia calva ). (c) The burbot ( Lota maculosa ).
Lawyerlike, Lawyerly adjective Like, or becoming, a lawyer; as, lawyerlike sagacity. " Lawyerly mooting of this point." Milton.
[ Compar. Laxer
(-ẽr); superl. Laxest
.] [ Latin laxus
, transitive verb
.] 1. Not tense, firm, or rigid; loose; slack; as, a lax bandage; lax fiber.
The flesh of that sort of fish being lax and spongy. Ray. 2. Not strict or stringent; not exact; loose; weak; vague; equivocal.
The discipline was lax . Macaulay.
Society at that epoch was lenient, if not lax , in matters of the passions. J. A. Symonds.
The word "æternus" itself is sometimes of a lax signification. Jortin. 3. Having a looseness of the bowels; diarrheal. Syn.
-- Loose; slack; vague; unconfined; unrestrained; dissolute; licentious.
Lax noun A looseness; diarrhea.
Laxation noun [ Latin laxatio , from laxare to loosen, from laxus loose, slack.] The act of loosening or slackening, or the state of being loosened or slackened.
[ Latin laxativus
mitigating, assuaging: confer French laxatif
. See Lax
] 1. Having a tendency to loosen or relax. Milton. 2. (Medicine) Having the effect of loosening or opening the intestines, and relieving from constipation; -- opposed to astringent .
-- noun (Medicine) A laxative medicine. See the Note under Cathartic .
Laxativeness noun The quality of being laxative.
Laxator noun [ New Latin , from Latin laxare , laxatum , to loosen.] (Anat.) That which loosens; -- esp., a muscle which by its contraction loosens some part.
[ Latin laxitas
, from laxus
loose, slack: confer French laxité
, See Lax
] The state or quality of being lax; want of tenseness, strictness, or exactness.
Laxly adverb In a lax manner.
Laxness noun The state of being lax; laxity.
Lay imperfect of Lie , to recline.
[ French lai
, Latin laicus
, Greek ... of or from the people, lay, from ..., ..., people. Confer Laic
.] 1. Of or pertaining to the laity, as distinct from the clergy; as, a lay person; a lay preacher; a lay brother. 2. Not educated or cultivated; ignorant.
[ Obsolete] 3. Not belonging to, or emanating from, a particular profession; unprofessional; as, a lay opinion regarding the nature of a disease. Lay baptism (Eccl.)
, baptism administered by a lay person. F. G. Lee.
-- Lay brother (R. C. Ch.)
, one received into a convent of monks under the three vows, but not in holy orders.
-- Lay clerk (Eccl.)
, a layman who leads the responses of the congregation, etc., in the church service. Hook.
-- Lay days (Com.)
, time allowed in a charter party for taking in and discharging cargo. McElrath.
-- Lay elder
. See 2d Elder , 3, note.
Lay noun The laity; the common people.
The learned have no more privilege than the lay . B. Jonson.
Lay noun A meadow. See Lea .
[ Obsolete] Dryden.
[ Old French lei
faith, law, French loi
law. See Legal
.] 1. Faith; creed; religious profession.
Of the sect to which that he was born Chaucer. 2. A law.
He kept his lay , to which that he was sworn.
[ Obsolete] "Many goodly lays
." Spenser. 3. An obligation; a vow.
They bound themselves by a sacred lay and oath. Holland.
[ Old French lai
, probably of Celtic origin; confer Ir. laoi
, song, poem, OIr. laoidh
poem, verse; but confer also Anglo-Saxon lāc
play, sport, German leich
a sort of poem (cf. Lake
to sport). ....] 1. A song; a simple lyrical poem; a ballad. Spenser. Sir W. Scott. 2. A melody; any musical utterance.
The throstle cock made eke his lay . Chaucer.
(lā) transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Laid
(lād); present participle & verbal noun Laying
.] [ Middle English leggen
, Anglo-Saxon lecgan
, causative, from licgan
to lie; akin to Dutch leggen
, German legen
, Icelandic leggja
, Goth. lagjan
. See Lie
to be prostrate.] 1. To cause to lie down, to be prostrate, or to lie against something; to put or set down; to deposit; as, to lay a book on the table; to lay a body in the grave; a shower lays the dust.
A stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den. Dan. vi. 17.
Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid . Milton. 2. To place in position; to establish firmly; to arrange with regularity; to dispose in ranks or tiers; as, to lay a corner stone; to lay bricks in a wall; to lay the covers on a table. 3. To prepare; to make ready; to contrive; to provide; as, to lay a snare, an ambush, or a plan. 4. To spread on a surface; as, to lay plaster or paint. 5. To cause to be still; to calm; to allay; to suppress; to exorcise, as an evil spirit.
After a tempest when the winds are laid . Waller. 6. To cause to lie dead or dying.
Brave Cæneus laid Ortygius on the plain, Dryden. 7. To deposit, as a wager; to stake; to risk.
The victor Cæneus was by Turnus slain.
I dare lay mine honor Shak. 8. To bring forth and deposit; as, to lay eggs. 9. To apply; to put.
He will remain so.
She layeth her hands to the spindle. Prov. xxxi. 19. 10. To impose, as a burden, suffering, or punishment; to assess, as a tax; as, to lay a tax on land.
The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Is. liii. 6. 11. To impute; to charge; to allege.
God layeth not folly to them. Job xxiv. 12.
Lay the fault on us. Shak. 12. To impose, as a command or a duty; as, to lay commands on one. 13. To present or offer; as, to lay an indictment in a particular county; to lay a scheme before one. 14. (Law) To state; to allege; as, to lay the venue. Bouvier. 15. (Mil.) To point; to aim; as, to lay a gun. 16. (Rope Making) To put the strands of (a rope, a cable, etc.) in their proper places and twist or unite them; as, to lay a cable or rope. 17. (Print.) (a) To place and arrange (pages) for a form upon the imposing stone. (b) To place (new type) properly in the cases. To lay asleep
, to put sleep; to make unobservant or careless. Bacon.
-- To lay bare
, to make bare; to strip.
And laid those proud roofs bare to summer's rain. Byron.
-- To lay before
, to present to; to submit for consideration; as, the papers are laid before Congress.
-- To lay by
. (a) To save. (b) To discard
Let brave spirits . . . not be laid by . Bacon.
-- To lay by the heels
, to put in the stocks. Shak.
-- To lay down
. (a) To stake as a wager. (b) To yield; to relinquish; to surrender; as, to lay down one's life; to lay down one's arms
. (c) To assert or advance, as a proposition or principle.
-- To lay forth
. (a) To extend at length; (reflexively) to exert one's self; to expatiate.
[ Obsolete] (b) To lay out (as a corpse).
[ Obsolete] Shak.
-- To lay hands on
, to seize.
-- To lay hands on one's self
, or To lay violent hands on one's self
, to injure one's self; specif., to commit suicide.
-- To lay heads together
, to consult.
-- To lay hold of
, or To lay hold on
, to seize; to catch.
-- To lay in
, to store; to provide.
-- To lay it on
, to apply without stint. Shak.
-- To lay on
, to apply with force; to inflict; as, to lay on blows.
-- To lay on load
, to lay on blows; to strike violently.
[ Obsolete or Archaic] -- To lay one's self out
, to strive earnestly.
No selfish man will be concerned to lay out himself for the good of his country. Smalridge.
-- To lay one's self open to
, to expose one's self to, as to an accusation.
-- To lay open
, to open; to uncover; to expose; to reveal.
- - To lay over
, to spread over; to cover.
- - To lay out
. (a) To expend. Macaulay. (b) To display; to discover
. (c) To plan in detail; to arrange; as, to lay out a garden
. (d) To prepare for burial; as, to lay out a corpse
. (e) To exert; as, to lay out all one's strength.
-- To lay siege to
. (a) To besiege; to encompass with an army. (b) To beset pertinaciously.
-- To lay the course (Nautical)
, to sail toward the port intended without jibing.
-- To lay the land (Nautical)
, to cause it to disappear below the horizon, by sailing away from it.
-- To lay to (a) To charge upon; to impute. (b) To apply with vigor
. (c) To attack or harass
. [ Obsolete] Knolles. (d) (Nautical) To check the motion of (a vessel) and cause it to be stationary.
-- To lay to heart
, to feel deeply; to consider earnestly.
-- To lay under
, to subject to; as, to lay under obligation or restraint.
-- To lay unto
. (a) Same as To lay to (above). (b) To put before
. Hos. xi. 4.
-- To lay up
. (a) To store; to reposit for future use. (b) To confine; to disable
. (c) To dismantle, and retire from active service, as a ship.
-- To lay wait for
, to lie in ambush for.
-- To lay waste
, to destroy; to make desolate; as, to lay waste the land. Syn.
-- See Put
, transitive verb
, and the Note under 4th Lie
Lay intransitive verb To lay about , or To lay about one , to strike vigorously in all directions. J. H. Newman. -- To lay at , to strike or strike at. Spenser. -- To lay for , to prepare to capture or assault; to lay wait for. [ Colloq.] Bp Hall. -- To lay in for , to make overtures for; to engage or secure the possession of. [ Obsolete] "I have laid in for these." Dryden. -- To lay on , to strike; to beat; to attack. Shak. -- To lay out , to purpose; to plan; as, he lays out to make a journey.
1. To produce and deposit eggs. 2. (Nautical) To take a position; to come or go; as, to lay forward; to lay aloft. 3. To lay a wager; to bet.
Lay noun 1. That which lies or is laid or is conceived of as having been laid or placed in its position; a row; a stratum; a layer; as, a lay of stone or wood. Addison.
A viol should have a lay of wire strings below. Bacon.
» The lay
of a rope is right-handed or left-handed according to the hemp or strands are laid up. See Lay
, transitive verb
, 16. The lay
of land is its topographical situation, esp. its slope and its surface features. 2. A wager.
"My fortunes against any lay
worth naming." 3. (a) A job, price, or profit.
[ Prov. Eng.] Wright. (b) A share of the proceeds or profits of an enterprise; as, when a man ships for a whaling voyage, he agrees for a certain lay .
[ U. S.] 4. (Textile Manuf.) (a) A measure of yarn; a lea. See 1st Lea (a) . (b) The lathe of a loom. See Lathe , 3. 5. A plan; a scheme.
[ Slang] Dickens. Lay figure
. (a) A jointed model of the human body that may be put in any attitude; -- used for showing the disposition of drapery, etc. (b) A mere puppet; one who serves the will of others without independent volition.
-- Lay race
, that part of a lay on which the shuttle travels in weaving; -- called also shuttle race .
Lay reader (Eccl.) A layman authorized to read parts of the public service of the church.
Lay shaft, Layshaft noun (Machinery) A secondary shaft, as in a sliding change gear for an automobile; a cam shaft operated by a two- to-one gear in an internal-combustion engine. It is generally a shaft moving more or less independently of the other parts of a machine, as, in some marine engines, a shaft, driven by a small auxiliary engine, for independently operating the valves of the main engine to insure uniform motion.
[ See Lay
to cause to lie flat.] 1. One who, or that which, lays. 2.
[ Prob. a corruption of lair
.] That which is laid; a stratum; a bed; one thickness, course, or fold laid over another; as, a layer of clay or of sand in the earth; a layer of bricks, or of plaster; the layers of an onion. 3. A shoot or twig of a plant, not detached from the stock, laid under ground for growth or propagation. 4. An artificial oyster bed.
Layering noun A propagating by layers. Gardner.