- Enter a word for the dictionary definition.
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Overlay \O`ver*lay"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Overlaid; p. pr. & vb. n. Overlaying.] 1. To lay, or spread, something over or across; hence, to cover; to overwhelm; to press excessively upon. [1913 Webster] When any country is overlaid by the multitude which live upon it. --Sir W. Raleigh. [1913 Webster] As when a cloud his beams doth overlay. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] Framed of cedar overlaid with gold. --Milton. [1913 Webster] And overlay With this portentous bridge the dark abyss. --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. Specifically: To cover (an object made of an inexpensive metal, glass, or other material) with a thin sheet of an expensive metal, especially with silver or gold. Distinguished from to plate, which is done by a chemical or electrical deposition process. [PJC] 3. To smother with a close covering, or by lying upon. [1913 Webster] This woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it. --1 Kings iii. 19. [1913 Webster] A heap of ashes that o'erlays your fire. --Dryden. [1913 Webster] 4. (Printing) To put an overlay on. [1913 Webster]