- past participle of overlie.
verb (used with object), o·ver·lay, o·ver·lain, o·ver·ly·ing.
- to lie over or upon, as a covering or stratum.
- to smother (an infant) by lying upon it, as in sleep.
verb -lies, -lying, -lay or -lain (tr)
- to lie or rest uponCompare overlay
- to kill (a baby or newborn animal) by lying upon it
v.late 12c., from over- + lie (v.2), or from an unrecorded Old English *oferlicgan. “In use from 12th to 16th c.; in 17-18th displaced by overlay; reintroduced in 19th c., chiefly in geological use.” [OED]. Related: Overlay; overlain.