overlay, overlie
1. The addition of the prefix over- makes both verbs transitive (i.e. take an object) and therefore they do not entirely correspond to the grammatical functions of lay and lie. The past tense and past participle of overlay is overlaid, and of overlie are (past) overlay and (participle) overlain. The primary meaning of overlay is ‘to cover (one thing) with another’ as in overlaying a surface with a coating or in smothering a child by lying on top of it (overlie is also used in this meaning and is somewhat more common). Both words are used in geology to mean ‘(of a stratum) to lie over (another)’.
2. Overlay (with stress on the first syllable) is also a noun, whereas overlie is only a verb.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Overlie — O ver*lie , v. t. [imp. {Overlay}; p. p. {Overlain}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Overlying}.] To lie over or upon; specifically, to suffocate by lying upon; as, to overlie an infant. Quain. [1913 Webster] A woman by negligence overlieth her child in her… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • overlie — index overlap Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • overlie — ► VERB (overlying; past overlay; past part. overlain) ▪ lie on top of …   English terms dictionary

  • overlie — [ō΄vər lī′] vt. overlay, overlain, overlying 1. to lie on or over 2. to stifle or smother by lying on …   English World dictionary

  • overlie — verb /ˌoʊvɚˈlaɪ/ a) To lie over or upon b) To suffocate by lying upon; as, to overlie an infant …   Wiktionary

  • overlie — See overlay, overlie, underlay, underlie …   Dictionary of problem words and expressions

  • overlie — transitive verb (overlay; overlain; overlying) Date: 13th century 1. to lie over or upon 2. to cause the death of by lying upon …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • overlie — /oh veuhr luy /, v.t., overlay, overlain, overlying. 1. to lie over or upon, as a covering or stratum. 2. to smother (an infant) by lying upon it, as in sleep. [1125 75; ME overlien, overliggen. See OVER , LIE2] * * * …   Universalium

  • overlie — over·lie .ō vər lī vt, lay lā; lain lān; ly·ing lī iŋ to cause the death of by lying upon …   Medical dictionary

  • overlie — Synonyms and related words: arch over, bestraddle, bestride, bridge, extend over, hang over, imbricate, jut, lap, lap over, lie over, overarch, overhang, overlap, override, ride, shingle, span …   Moby Thesaurus