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Overlay   Listen
verb
Overlay  v. t.  (past & past part. overlaid; pres. part. overlaying)  
1.
To lay, or spread, something over or across; hence, to cover; to overwhelm; to press excessively upon. "When any country is overlaid by the multitude which live upon it." "As when a cloud his beams doth overlay." "Framed of cedar overlaid with gold." "And overlay With this portentous bridge the dark abyss."
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.
3.
To smother with a close covering, or by lying upon. "This woman's child died in the night; because she overlaid it." "A heap of ashes that o'erlays your fire."
4.
(Printing) To put an overlay on.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Overlay" Quotes from Famous Books



... topsy-turvy, twisted, crisp'd, and curl'd, Baked, fried, or burnt, turn'd inside-out, or drown'd, Like all the worlds before, which have been hurl'd First out of, and then back again to chaos, The superstratum which will overlay us. ...
— Don Juan • Lord Byron

... I laid down at night whether I should sleep until sun and morning overlay the countryside; whether the whispering call of Desire Michell would summon me to an hour more exquisite than reality, less satisfying than a dream, or whether I should leap into consciousness of the Loathsome Eyes fixed coldly malignant upon me while my enemy's inhuman hate groped toward me ...
— The Thing from the Lake • Eleanor M. Ingram

... perfectly fixed quantity annually, not increasable by one grain. You may lose it, or you may gather it; you may let it lie loose in the ravine, and buried in the sands, or you may make kings' thrones of it, and overlay temple gates with it, as you choose: but the best you can do with it is always merely ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... And him who, with the steady sledge, Smites the shrill anvil all day long. Sprinkle the furrow's even trace For those whose toiling hands uprear The roof-trees of our swarming race, By grove and plain, by stream and mere; Who forth, from crowded city, lead The lengthening street, and overlay Green orchard-plot and grassy mead With pavement of the murmuring way. Cast, with full hands the harvest cast, For the brave men that climb the mast, When to the billow and the blast It swings and stoops, with fearful strain, And bind the fluttering mainsail fast, Till the tossed bark ...
— Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant - Household Edition • William Cullen Bryant

... furniture and household gear, something is moving. It is an old simpleton with a long bald neck, pink and rough, making you think of a fowl's neck which has prematurely molted through disease. His profile is that of a hen, too—no chin and a long nose. A gray overlay of beard felts his receded cheek, and you see his heavy eyelids, rounded and horny, move up and down like shutters on the dull beads ...
— Under Fire - The Story of a Squad • Henri Barbusse

... her headlong passion for deliverance, she could not help discovering now and then, through an occasional self assertion of that real good sense which her rampant and unsubjected benevolence could but overlay, not finally smother, that she was either doing nothing at all, or ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... most miraculous parts of the Tabernacle was the altar. For when God bade Moses make an altar of shittim wood and overlay it with brass, Moses said to God: "O Lord of the world! Thou badest me make the altar of wood and overlay it with brass, but Thou didst also bid me have 'a fire kept burning upon the altar continually.' Will not the fire destroy the overlay of brass, and then consume the wood ...
— THE LEGENDS OF THE JEWS VOLUME III BIBLE TIMES AND CHARACTERS - FROM THE EXODUS TO THE DEATH OF MOSES • BY LOUIS GINZBERG

... The sleeve overlay the man's forearm, and the movement laid bare another bracelet, on the man's right wrist. Size for size, this was the same as the one that had ...
— King—of the Khyber Rifles • Talbot Mundy

... jars done in a delicate overlay, like pine cones; and there were many patterns in a low relief, like basket-work. Some of the pottery was decorated in color, red and brown, black and white, in graceful geometrical patterns. One day, on a fragment of a shallow ...
— Song of the Lark • Willa Cather

... Christian," he writes, "what do I care? Whether it is human, liberal, humane, whether unhuman, illiberal, inhuman, what do I ask about that? If only it accomplishes what I want, if only I satisfy myself in it, then overlay it with predicates as you will; it is all alike to me."[18] "Consequently my relation to the world is this: I no longer do anything for it 'for God's sake,' I do nothing 'for man's sake,' but what I do I do 'for my sake.'"[19] "Where the ...
— Violence and the Labor Movement • Robert Hunter

... an unoppressive, but a productive revenue. You would have had a flourishing commerce to feed it. You would have had a free Constitution, a potent monarchy, a disciplined army, a reformed and venerated clergy,—a mitigated, but spirited nobility, to lead your virtue, not to overlay it; you would have had a liberal order of commons, to emulate and to recruit that nobility; you would have had a protected, satisfied, laborious, and obedient people, taught to seek and to recognize the happiness that is to be ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... saying, "O my lord, I have left nothing in the treasury." Judar gave the treasure to his mother bidding her keep it and laying the enchanted saddle bags before him, said to the Jinni, "I command thee to build me this night a lofty palace and overlay it with liquid gold and furnish it with magnificent furniture: and let not the day dawn, ere thou be quit of the whole work." Replied he, "Thy bidding shall be obeyed;" and sank into the earth. Then Judar brought forth ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 6 • Richard F. Burton

... preserved except in these vessels; which are so highly esteemed all over Japan that they form the most costly articles of their show-rooms and cabinets. Indeed, so highly do they value them that they overlay them externally with fine gold embossed with great skill, and enclose them in cases of brocade; and some of these vessels are valued at and fetch from two thousand tael to eleven reals. The natives of these islands purchase them from the Japanese at very high rates, and take much pains in the ...
— The Former Philippines thru Foreign Eyes • Fedor Jagor; Tomas de Comyn; Chas. Wilkes; Rudolf Virchow.

... 'Don't we overlay it a good deal with human traditions, and still more often take it for granted that what suits us must be necessary for ...
— Life of John Coleridge Patteson • Charlotte M. Yonge

... that past Georgian day, When men were less inclined to say That "Time is Gold," and overlay With toil their pleasure; He held some land, and dwelt thereon,— Where, I forget,—the house is gone; His Christian name, I think, ...
— The Home Book of Verse, Vol. 4 (of 4) • Various

... we can apply to all experiences. Everything that comes from the hand of God has the quality of which I am speaking; our business is to try to disentangle it from the prejudices, the false judgments, the severities, the heavinesses, with which human nature tends to overlay it. Imagine a man oppressed by all the ills which humanity can suffer, by shame and disease and failure. Can it be denied, in the presence of the life of Christ, that it is yet possible to make out of such a situation a noble ...
— From a College Window • Arthur Christopher Benson

... anything but a convivial turn, Jerry Cruncher worried his breakfast rather than ate it, growling over it like any four-footed inmate of a menagerie. Towards nine o'clock he smoothed his ruffled aspect, and, presenting as respectable and business-like an exterior as he could overlay his natural self with, issued forth to the occupation ...
— A Tale of Two Cities - A Story of the French Revolution • Charles Dickens

... Lucian applied his limpid style and his uncommon power of narration to rewrite what was no doubt a ruder and more confused story. Apuleius evidently took the story as a mere groundwork which he might overlay with his own fantastic embroidery. He was probably attracted to it by the supernatural element, which would appeal strongly to him, not merely as a professed mystic and a dabbler in magic, but as a decadent whose art sought out strange experiences and romantic passions no ...
— Latin Literature • J. W. Mackail

... equal in number to the foreigners: and there were enough of both, God knows: for London must have poured many here. There were houses, in every room of which, and on the stairs, the dead actually overlay each other, and in the streets before them were points where only on flesh, or under carriages, was it possible to walk. I went into the great County Gaol, from which, as I had read, the prisoners had been released two weeks ...
— The Purple Cloud • M.P. Shiel

... Caterina, was to lead them all in the honor she was bringing upon her country! If her own estimate of the part she was to play was a foolish one, only a Venetian patrician maid could comprehend the glamour that overlay this vision of Caterina's—the royal delivery from bondage—the unknown delights it must ...
— The Royal Pawn of Venice - A Romance of Cyprus • Mrs. Lawrence Turnbull

... that Halleck ceased so early to write, let us congratulate ourselves that he wrote at all. Great authors often overlay and almost smother their own fame by the voluminousness of their writings. So great is their multitude, and so rich is the literature of our language, that for frequent readings we are obliged to content ourselves with mere selections from the works of best ...
— Stories of Authors, British and American • Edwin Watts Chubb

... right. No matter how much overlay you pile on top of such a phobia to suppress it, it will continue to haunt you. We can make a trial run to analyze the situation, and then we can better predict the chance of ...
— The Memory of Mars • Raymond F. Jones

... results expected from this imported miner were rather startling. For instance, age-long rumor had it that the Emperor's hunting park at Jehol overlay immensely valuable gold deposits. The Minister intimated to the Director that he would like to know the real facts about this as soon as possible. As the park lay in a little-explored region of southern Manchuria and was a place of much historical as well as geological ...
— Herbert Hoover - The Man and His Work • Vernon Kellogg

... the sustenance of living creatures. But if thou wilt only satisfy want, which sufficeth Nature, there is no cause to require the superfluities of fortune. For Nature is contented with little and with the smallest things, and, if, being satisfied, thou wilt overlay it with more than needs, that which thou addest will either become unpleasant or hurtful. But perhaps thou thinkest it a fine thing to go decked in gay apparel, which, if they make a fair show, I will admire either ...
— The Theological Tractates and The Consolation of Philosophy • Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

... under the restraint of a sensitive talking world, to which books had contributed something, and a various eager life the rest. Milton is generally unclassical in spirit where he is learned, and naturally, because the purest poets do not overlay their conceptions with book knowledge, and the classical poets, having in comparison no books, were under little temptation to impair the purity of their style by the accumulation of their research. Over and above this, there is in Milton, and ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... is simply a more definite form of fixing charge number two in an exact way and signifies appropriating the money on a check given for a certain definite purpose. All of these charges, as you can see, gentlemen, are in a way synonymous. They overlap and overlay each other. The people, through their representative, the district attorney, contend that Mr. Cowperwood, the defendant here, is guilty of all four charges. So now, gentlemen, we will proceed to the history of this crime, which proves to me as an individual that this defendant ...
— The Financier • Theodore Dreiser

... or date that he wishes to make permanently his own. It is easy. It is a matter of habit. If you will you can photograph an idea upon your cerebral gelatine so that neither years nor events will blot it out or overlay it. You must be clearly and distinctly aware of the thing you are putting into your mental treasure-house, and drastically certain of the cord by which you have tied it to some other thing of which you are sure. Unless it is worth your while to do this, you might as well abandon ...
— One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed • C. A. Bogardus

... our course, through might of seas we drive, 200 Nor e'en might Palinurus self the day from night-tide sift, Nor have a deeming of the road atwixt the watery drift. Still on for three uncertain suns, that blind mists overlay, And e'en so many starless nights, across the sea we stray; But on the fourth day at the last afar upon us broke The mountains of another land, mid curling wreaths of smoke. Then fall the sails, we rise on oars, no sloth ...
— The AEneids of Virgil - Done into English Verse • Virgil

... omitted to shave for some days, appeared at the door of the living-room. His face was another history upon the same subject as that which might be studied from the walls, the floor, and the appointments of the room. Inspector Dunbar perceived that the shadow of the neighboring hostelry overlay this home. ...
— The Yellow Claw • Sax Rohmer

... through them to heaven's light beyond. To make the senses a ladder for the soul to climb to heaven by, will be perilously likely to end in the soul going down the ladder instead of up. Forms are sure to encroach, to overlay the truth that lies at their root, to become dimly intelligible, or quite unmeaning, and to constitute at last the end instead of the means. Is it not then wise to minimise these potent and dangerous ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... resemblance of what she must have been before her fall. Let him, looking from Lido or Fusina, replace in the forest of towers those of the hundred and sixty-six churches which the French threw down; let him sheet her walls with purple and scarlet, overlay her minarets with gold,[12] cleanse from their pollution those choked canals which are now the drains of hovels, where they were once vestibules of palaces, and fill them with gilded barges and bannered ships; ...
— Modern Painters Volume I (of V) • John Ruskin

... struck across three several ridges, whose slopes were notably easier on the eastern, and more abrupt on the western side. The people had sunk several pits in places likely to yield 'kindly quartz,' and they had made no mistakes as to the overlay of the lode, its ...
— To The Gold Coast for Gold, Vol. II - A Personal Narrative • Richard Francis Burton and Verney Lovett Cameron

... sense of God. That sense we have, though many call it by another name. It would be more true to say that that sense has us. It is inescapable. All who have it are the religious. Those who hold to dogmas, rites, institutions in such a way as to obscure and overlay this sense of God, those who hold those as substitute for that sense, are the nearest to being irreligious. Any form, the most outre, bizarre and unconventional, is good, so only that it helps a man to God. All forms are evil, the most accredited ...
— Edward Caldwell Moore - Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant • Edward Moore

... touches of character-painting, perhaps, tend to overlay and obscure the true portraiture of Matthew Arnold. He was pre-eminently a good man, gentle, generous, enduring, laborious, a devoted husband, a most tender father, an unfailing friend. Qualified by nature and training ...
— Matthew Arnold • G. W. E. Russell

... soft hair. groan, a deep sigh. furze, a prickly shrub. grown, increased. gage, to pledge. gall, bile. gauge, to measure. Gaul, old name of France. gate, door; entrance. gild, to overlay with gold. gait, manner of walking. guild, a corporation. gilt, adorned with gold. gloze, to smooth over. guilt, crime. glows, shines. great, large; vast. guest, a visitor. grate, a range of bars. guessed, did guess. ...
— McGuffey's Eclectic Spelling Book • W. H. McGuffey

... insipid details which overlay them, the annals of Ceylon present comparatively few stirring incidents, and still fewer events of historic importance to repay the toil of their perusal. They profess to record no occurrence anterior to the advent of the last Buddha, the great founder of the national faith, who was born ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... though horribly discoloured, were perfect, and two little nut-like eyes still lurked in the depths of the black, hollow sockets. The blotched skin was drawn tightly from bone to bone, and a tangled wrap of black coarse hair fell over the ears. Two thin teeth, like those of a rat, overlay the shrivelled lower lip. In its crouching position, with bent joints and craned head, there was a suggestion of energy about the horrid thing which made Smith's gorge rise. The gaunt ribs, with their parchment-like covering, were exposed, and the sunken, leaden-hued abdomen, with the ...
— Round the Red Lamp - Being Facts and Fancies of Medical Life • Arthur Conan Doyle

... now do; the glory of that time has passed away,—its unreasoning faith, its wanton instinct, revelling in Art like children in the sunshine, and rejoicing in childlike perception of the pomp and glory which overlay creation, unconscious of effort, indifferent to science,—all gone with the fairies, the saints, the ecstatic visions which framed their poor lives in gold. Only, still reflecting the glory, as eastern mountains the sunken sun, came a few sympathetic ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, No. 74, December, 1863 • Various

... toward Imboden Hill. It was very beautiful and soul-comforting—the warm air, the luxuriantly wooded hills, with their shades of green that told her where poplar and oak and beech and maple grew, the delicate haze of blue that overlay them and deepened as her eyes followed the still mountain piles north-eastward to meet the big range that shut her in from the outer world. The changes had been many. One part of the town had been wiped out by fire and a few buildings of stone had ...
— The Trail of the Lonesome Pine • John Fox, Jr.

... English language was the noblest in the world and men speaking it had invented railway trains, steamships, telegraphs, and everything worth inventing. Esther absorbed these ideas from the school reading books. The experience of a month will overlay the hereditary bequest of a century. And yet, beneath all, the prepared plate remains most sensitive to ...
— Children of the Ghetto • I. Zangwill

... a three-nookit hankercher is the maist fashionable overlay, and that stocks belang to your honour and me that are auld warld folk. I beg pardon for mentioning us twa thegither, but it ...
— The Antiquary, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... large, old-fashioned dwelling, of comfortable aspect; too comfortable, I thought, for the shadow of doom, which, in my eyes, overlay its cheerful front, wide-open doors and windows. How should I tell my story here! What credence could I expect for a tale so gruesome, within walls warmed by so much sunshine and joy. None, possibly; but my story must be told for ...
— The Bronze Hand - 1897 • Anna Katharine Green (Mrs. Charles Rohlfs)

... better work, typists who do nothing but fill in form letters, overlay their work—that is, before one sheet is taken out of the machine another is started in. A scheme which is slower but gives accuracy, is to work backward on the name and address, writing the "Gentlemen" or "Dear Madam" first, beginning flush with the margin. The town or city is next written, ...
— Business Correspondence • Anonymous

... any one! If you could know with what a gush of love I have sat losing myself in your eyes, looking at them with rapture during a pause I allowed myself, you would feel as you gathered up the affection with which I have tried to overlay the ivory, that the soul of your little ...
— Scenes from a Courtesan's Life • Honore de Balzac



Words linked to "Overlay" :   sheathing, cover, bed, overlie, ornamentation, ornament, splash, decoration



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