lay about

intransitive verb
1. : to strike in all directions : hit out at random
2. : to take steps in preparation : seek means : go about

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ˌlay a ˈbout [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they lay about he/she/it lays about present participle laying about past tense laid about past participle laid about] british old-fashioned phrasal verb
to attack someone by hitting them
lay about someone with something:

He said that his captors had laid about him with whips.

Thesaurus: to attack a person or objectsynonym to hit a personsynonym
Main entry: lay

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lay about (someone)
beat or attack (someone) violently

they weren't against laying about you with sticks and stones

lay about one strike out wildly on all sides

the mare laid about her with her front legs and teeth


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • lay about — phrasal verb [transitive] Word forms lay about : present tense I/you/we/they lay about he/she/it lays about present participle laying about past tense laid about past participle laid about British old fashioned lay about someone to attack someone …   English dictionary

  • lay about — Brit. beat or attack violently. ↘(lay about one) strike out wildly on all sides. → lay …   English new terms dictionary

  • lay about — verb a) To strike blows in all directions. b) To set about, with infinitive or gerund …   Wiktionary

  • lay·about — /ˈlejəˌbaʊt/ noun, pl abouts [count] informal : a lazy person an irresponsible layabout her layabout brother …   Useful english dictionary

  • lay about one — ► lay about one strike out wildly. Main Entry: ↑lay …   English terms dictionary

  • lay about one — To deal blows vigorously or on all sides • • • Main Entry: ↑lay …   Useful english dictionary

  • lay about somebody (with something) — ˌlay aˈbout sb (with sth) derived (BrE) to attack sb violently • The gang laid about him with sticks. Main entry: ↑layderived …   Useful english dictionary

  • lay about you (with something) — ˌlay aˈbout you/yourself (with sth) derived (BrE) to hit sb/sth without control or move your arms or legs violently in all directions • She laid about herself with her stick to keep the dogs off. Main entry: ↑layderived …   Useful english dictionary

  • lay about yourself (with something) — ˌlay aˈbout you/yourself (with sth) derived (BrE) to hit sb/sth without control or move your arms or legs violently in all directions • She laid about herself with her stick to keep the dogs off. Main entry: ↑layderived …   Useful english dictionary

  • lay about one — {v. phr.} To hit out in all directions. Used with a reflexive object: her , him , or them . * /The bandits surrounded the sheriff, but he laid about him so hard, with his gun used as a club, that they stepped back and let him escape./ * /Mrs.… …   Dictionary of American idioms


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