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in- +‎ lay.




inlay (third-person singular simple present inlays, present participle inlaying, simple past and past participle inlaid)

  1. To place (pieces of a foreign material) within another material to form a decorative design.
  2. (dentistry) To place an inlay in a tooth.
    • 1895, Benjamin Holliday Catching, Catching's Compendium of Practical Dentistry - Volume 5, page 159:
      Porcelain inlaying is a grand thing in certain cases, and it is much to be regretted that the present existing circumstances do not warrant its being used more extensively.
    • 1907, The Pacific Dental Gazette - Volume 15, page 759:
      It is not strange that this principle of inlaying should occur to those men years ago, for it was one of the most ancient of arts and it had been brought well-nigh to perfection. The thought of restoring broken surface in teeth, as was being done in gold and wood was ever present with them.
    • 1913, The Practical Manual of Dental Casting, Being the Recorded Experiences of Many Able and Eminent Men in the Dental Profession:
      It is hard to tell whether it was the solid block inlay idea of itself, or else something to help cement to be retained in a cavity, that has brought about inlaying of cavities;
    • 1926, The Dental Craftsman - Volume 1, page 12:
      They felt with a prophetic instinct that sometime and somewhere these obstacles would be removed, that difficulties apparently unsurmountable would be overcome, and that the principle of inlaying teeth would become recognized as good practice in restoring broken-down tooth tissues.



inlay (plural inlays)

  1. The material placed within a different material in the form of a decoration.
  2. (dentistry) A filling for a tooth, made of ceramic or gold to fit the cavity and shape of tooth and cemented into place.
  3. The piece of paper or the booklet inside the case of a CD or DVD

Derived termsEdit