See also: Layer



  • (UK) IPA(key): /leɪə/, /lɛə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈleɪ.ɚ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪə(r)

Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English leyer, leyare (a layer of stones or bricks), equivalent to lay +‎ -er.


layer (plural layers)

  1. A single thickness of some material covering a surface.
    Wrap the loaf in two layers of aluminum foil before putting it in the oven.
    After the first coat of paint dried, he applied another layer.
    1. An item of clothing worn under or over another.
      It's cold now but it will warm up this afternoon. Make sure you wear layers.
  2. A (usually) horizontal deposit; a stratum.
    I find seven-layer cake a bit too rich.
  3. One of the items in a hierarchy.
    mired in layers of deceit
    • 2001, C/C++ Users Journal (volume 19, page 38)
      Right above the database access layer sits a number cruncher that performs any calculations that a particular request may require, such as computing a standard deviation. In many cases, this layer just forwards raw numbers.
  4. (computer graphics, by analogy to a stack of transparencies) one in a stack of (initially transparent) drawing surfaces that comprise an image; used to keep elements of an image separate so that they can be modified independently from one another.
  • (single thickness): lay (obsolete)
  • (stratum): stratum
Derived termsEdit


layer (third-person singular simple present layers, present participle layering, simple past and past participle layered)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) to cut or divide (something) into layers
  2. (transitive, intransitive) to arrange (something) in layers.
    Layer the ribbons on top of one another to make an attractive pattern.

Etymology 2Edit

lay +‎ -er


layer (plural layers)

  1. A person who lays things, such as tiles.
  2. A mature female bird, insect, etc. that is able to lay eggs.
    When dealing with an infestation of headlice, the first step is to eliminate the layers.
  3. A hen kept to lay eggs.
  4. A shoot of a plant, laid underground for growth.

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit