from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To set (pieces of wood or ivory, for example) into a surface, usually at the same level, to form a design.
  • transitive v. To decorate by setting in such designs.
  • transitive v. To insert (a photograph, for example) within a mat in a book.
  • n. Contrasting material set into a surface in pieces to form a design.
  • n. A design, pattern, or decoration made by inlaying.
  • n. Dentistry A solid filling, as of gold or porcelain, fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The material placed within a different material in the form of a decoration.
  • v. To place pieces of a foreign material within another material to form a decorative design.
  • v. To fill a tooth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Matter or pieces of wood, ivory, etc., inlaid, or prepared for inlaying; that which is inserted or inlaid for ornament or variety.
  • transitive v. To lay within; hence, to insert, as pieces of pearl, ivory, mother-of-pearl, choice woods, or the like, in a groundwork of some other material; to form an ornamental surface; to diversify or adorn with insertions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lay in, as a hiding-place; conceal.
  • To lay in; provide; store up.
  • To lay or insert in something; fix into or upon something, as for ornamentation.
  • To decorate with ornamental materials laid in a common groundwork; ornament with inserted work: as, to inlay a cabinet with ivory or ebony; an inlaid table.
  • n. That which is inserted or laid in something else, especially for the production of ornamental effect.
  • n. An ornamental design produced by inlaying one material in another, or by inserting several materials in combination, as in a mosaic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. (dentistry) a filling consisting of a solid substance (as gold or porcelain) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place
  • v. decorate the surface of by inserting wood, stone, and metal
  • n. a decoration made by fitting pieces of wood into prepared slots in a surface


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

in- +‎ lay.



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