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

  • n. A payment plan in which a buyer reserves an article of merchandise by placing a deposit with the retailer until the balance is paid in full: bought a suit on layaway.
  • n. An article reserved under such a plan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Things which have had a deposit placed on them and which the owner (generally a store) has agreed to hold for the customer and accept full payment at a later time.
  • n. The system of accepting a deposit and holding for a customer to complete purchase.
  • v. To place items on hold with a deposit at a merchant's.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • And business experts who track trends on Google say the number of searches for the term layaway has recently gone way up.

    CNN Transcript Dec 11, 2008

  • Online trends1 show the word "layaway" has doubled in interest among U.S. searchers in

  • In some ways, layaway is what happens as you start a business.

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch » 2009 » August

  • A Southern California man is the latest so-called "layaway angel" to spread Christmas cheer by paying the balances on hundreds of layaway accounts at a local Kmart store - to the tune of nearly $16,000.

    NYDN Rss

  • But the idea of layaway online programs is just a recent development that retailers put into action to widen the presence of their layaway services.


  • But assuming you're not totally tapped out and are determined to spend within your budget, your best financial strategy might be to follow an old-fashioned, simple idea - something called layaway plans.

    Berks county news

  • A layaway is a low-cost finance method for a customer to make a purchase in installments prior to buying the item.


  • Jackie O'Malley of Buffalo, New York, calls the layaway plan a guilty pleasure because "it simply makes you feel better when you pay off the last amount (without ever paying interest) and are able to take home your items."


  • NEW YORK, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- U.S. retailer Sears is bringing back the purchasing system called layaway this year, marking a small comeback for a plan popular during the Great Depression.

    Latest News -

  • Politicians will not be able to resist talking about 'layaway' in this environment, because it provides a way to talk about 'responsibility' that is both new and old at the same time.

    Jeffrey Feldman: 10 Phrases That Will Shape Politics In '09


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  • I'm trying to think of what we call the highway thingy sionnach mentions. Roadside stop? Rest area? Truck bay? Hmmmm. Plethora?

    August 27, 2009

  • "Pens and notebooks on layaway"—crikey! That's awful!

    A local fast-food restaurant here is sponsoring a school-supplies drive. They have a huge table filled with stuff like this—pens, notebooks, etc.—that will be donated to those who can't afford them. I thought it was a good idea, but it's kind of horrifying to think how much it's needed.

    August 27, 2009

  • That would be buying something on the hire purchase, or - as it is commonly referred to in Ireland - buying it on the never-never.

    A lay-by is an area on the side of the highway for cars to pull over, e.g. for drivers to rest or obtain refreshments. No Irish lay-by is named after a football coach; some might be named after saints, however.

    August 27, 2009

  • Lay-by in Australia.

    "Layaway allows shoppers to pay over time, interest- free, and pick up their merchandise when it's paid in full."

    - Anne D'Innocenzio, Consumer strain: Pens and notebooks put on layaway,, 24 August 2009.

    August 27, 2009