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Etymology 1Edit

From fore- +‎ lay.


forelay (third-person singular simple present forelays, present participle forelaying, simple past and past participle forelaid)

  1. To lay down beforehand
    • Mede
      these grounds being forelaid and understood
    • 1822, The Whole Works of the Rev. John Howe, M.A. with a Memoir of the Author. Vol. VI.
      I shall, before I instance, only forelay this That we must consider []
  2. To waylay
    • 1913, James B. Connally, Sonnie-Boy's People
      Again Lavis heard him: "You thought to forelay me, eh -- and breed panic above?”
  3. To plan; contrive in advance
    • 1917, Charles Neville Buck, The Tyranny of Weakness
      You folks had better forelay to come aboard by then.

Etymology 2Edit



  1. simple past tense of forelie

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for forelay in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)