take lying down

take lying down

verb (used without object), lay, lain, ly·ing.

  1. to be in a horizontal, recumbent, or prostrate position, as on a bed or the ground; recline.
  2. (of objects) to rest in a horizontal or flat position: The book lies on the table.
  3. to be or remain in a position or state of inactivity, subjection, restraint, concealment, etc.: to lie in ambush.
  4. to rest, press, or weigh (usually followed by on or upon): These things lie upon my mind.
  5. to depend (usually followed by on or upon).
  6. to be placed or situated: land lying along the coast.
  7. to be stretched out or extended: the broad plain that lies before us.
  8. to be in or have a specified direction; extend: The trail from here lies to the west.
  9. to be found or located in a particular area or place: The fault lies here.
  10. to consist or be grounded (usually followed by in): The real remedy lies in education.
  11. to be buried in a particular spot: Their ancestors lie in the family plot.
  12. Law. to be sustainable or admissible, as an action or appeal.
  13. Archaic. to lodge; stay the night; sojourn.


  1. the manner, relative position, or direction in which something lies: the lie of the patio, facing the water.
  2. the haunt or covert of an animal.
  3. Golf. the position of the ball relative to how easy or how difficult it is to play.

Verb Phrases

  1. lie by,
    1. to pause for rest; stop activities, work, etc., temporarily.
    2. to lie unused: Ever since the last member of the family died, the old house has lain by.
  2. lie down, to assume a horizontal or prostrate position, as for the purpose of resting.
  3. lie in,
    1. to be confined to bed in childbirth.
    2. Chiefly British.to stay in bed longer than usual, especially in the morning.
  4. lie over, to be postponed for attention or action at some future time: The other business on the agenda will have to lie over until the next meeting.
  5. lie up,
    1. to lie at rest; stay in bed.
    2. (of a ship) to dock or remain in dock.
  6. lie with,
    1. to be the duty or function of: The decision in this matter lies with him.
    2. Archaic.to have sexual intercourse with.


  1. lie down on the job, Informal. to do less than one could or should do; shirk one’s obligations.
  2. lie in state. state(def 24).
  3. lie low. low1(def 51).
  4. lie to, Nautical. (of a ship) to lie comparatively stationary, usually with the head as near the wind as possible.
  5. take lying down, to hear or yield without protest, contradiction, or resistance: I refuse to take such an insult lying down.


  1. Trygve Halvdan (ˈtryɡvə ˈhalðan). 1896–1968, Norwegian statesman; first secretary-general of the United Nations (1946–52)

verb lies, lying or lied

  1. (intr) to speak untruthfully with intent to mislead or deceive
  2. (intr) to convey a false impression or practise deceptionthe camera does not lie


  1. an untrue or deceptive statement deliberately used to mislead
  2. something that is deliberately intended to deceive
  3. give the lie to
    1. to disprove
    2. to accuse of lying

verb lies, lying, lay (leɪ) or lain (leɪn) (intr)

  1. (often foll by down) to place oneself or be in a prostrate position, horizontal to the ground
  2. to be situated, esp on a horizontal surfacethe pencil is lying on the desk; India lies to the south of Russia
  3. to be buriedhere lies Jane Brown
  4. (copula) to be and remain (in a particular state or condition)to lie dormant
  5. to stretch or extendthe city lies before us
  6. (usually foll by on or upon) to rest or weighmy sins lie heavily on my mind
  7. (usually foll by in) to exist or consist inherentlystrength lies in unity
  8. (foll by with)
    1. to be or rest (with)the ultimate decision lies with you
    2. archaicto have sexual intercourse (with)
  9. (of an action, claim, appeal, etc) to subsist; be maintainable or admissible
  10. archaic to stay temporarily
  11. lie in state See state (def. 13)
  12. lie low
    1. to keep or be concealed or quiet
    2. to wait for a favourable opportunity


  1. the manner, place, or style in which something is situated
  2. the hiding place or lair of an animal
  3. golf
    1. the position of the ball after a shota bad lie
    2. the angle made by the shaft of the club before the upswing
  4. lie of the land
    1. the topography of the land
    2. the way in which a situation is developing or people are behaving

n.2“manner of lying,” 1690s, from lie (v.2). Sense in golf is from 1857. v.1“speak falsely, tell an untruth,” late 12c., from Old English legan, ligan, earlier leogan “deceive, belie, betray” (class II strong verb; past tense leag, past participle logen), from Proto-Germanic *leugan (cf. Old Norse ljuga, Danish lyve, Old Frisian liaga, Old Saxon and Old High German liogan, German lügen, Gothic liugan), from PIE root *leugh- “to tell a lie.” v.2“rest horizontally,” early 12c., from Old English licgan (class V strong verb; past tense læg, past participle legen) “be situated, reamin; be at rest, lie down,” from Proto-Germanic *legjanan (cf. Old Norse liggja, Old Frisian lidzia, Middle Dutch ligghen, Dutch liggen, Old High German ligen, German liegen, Gothic ligan), from PIE *legh- “to lie, lay” (cf. Hittite laggari “falls, lies,” Greek lekhesthai “to lie down,” Latin lectus “bed,” Old Church Slavonic lego “to lie down,” Lithuanian at-lagai “fallow land,” Old Irish laigim “I lie down,” Irish luighe “couch, grave”). To lie with “have sexual intercourse” is from c.1300, and cf. Old English licgan mid “cohabit with.” To take (something) lying down “passively, submissively” is from 1854. n.1“an untruth,” Old English lyge “lie, falsehood,” from Proto-Germanic *lugiz (cf. Old Norse lygi, Danish løgn, Old Frisian leyne (fem.), Dutch leugen (fem.), Old High German lugi, German Lüge, Gothic liugn “a lie”), from the root of lie (v.1). To give the lie to “accuse directly of lying” is attested from 1590s. Lie-detector first recorded 1909. n.

  1. The manner or position in which something is situated, especially the relation that the long axis of a fetus bears to that of its mother.

Submit to an insult, rebuke, or other harsh treatment without resisting, as in He won’t take that snub lying down. This idiom uses lying down in the sense of “passively.” [Late 1800s] Also see take it, def. 2. In addition to the idioms beginning with lie

  • lie down
  • lie in
  • lie in state
  • lie in wait
  • lie low
  • lie through one’s teeth
  • lie with
  • also see:

  • barefaced lie
  • give the lie to
  • (lie) in state
  • lay of the land (how the land lies)
  • let sleeping dogs lie
  • make one’s bed and lie in it
  • take lying down
  • white lie
  • 56 queries 0.659