W w


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • UK Pronunciation
    • UK IPA
    • [wey-ley, wey-ley]
    • /ˈweɪˌleɪ, weɪˈleɪ/
    • /ˌweɪˈleɪ/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [wey-ley, wey-ley]
    • /ˈweɪˌleɪ, weɪˈleɪ/

Definitions of waylay word

  • verb with object waylay to intercept or attack from ambush, as in order to rob, seize, or slay. 1
  • verb with object waylay to await and accost unexpectedly: The actor was waylaid by a swarm of admirers. 1
  • noun waylay Stop or interrupt (someone) and detain them in conversation or trouble them in some other way. 1
  • transitive verb waylay sidetrack, divert 1
  • verb waylay If someone waylays you, they stop you when you are going somewhere, for example in order to talk to you, to steal something from you, or to attack you. 0
  • verb waylay to lie in wait for and attack 0

Information block about the term

Origin of waylay

First appearance:

before 1505
One of the 26% oldest English words
1505-15; way1 + lay1, after Middle Low German, Middle Dutch wegelagen to lie in wait, derivative of wegelage a lying in wait

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for Waylay


waylay popularity

A common word. It’s meaning is known to most children of preschool age. About 74% of English native speakers know the meaning and use the word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

waylay usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for waylay

verb waylay

  • accost — If someone accosts another person, especially a stranger, they stop them or go up to them and speak to them in a way that seems rude or threatening.
  • intercept — to take, seize, or halt (someone or something on the way from one place to another); cut off from an intended destination: to intercept a messenger.
  • ambush — If a group of people ambush their enemies, they attack them after hiding and waiting for them.
  • bushwhack — to ambush
  • surprise — to strike or occur to with a sudden feeling of wonder or astonishment, as through unexpectedness: Her beauty surprised me.

Antonyms for waylay

verb waylay

  • allow — If someone is allowed to do something, it is all right for them to do it and they will not get into trouble.
  • forward — toward or at a place, point, or time in advance; onward; ahead: to move forward; from this day forward; to look forward.

See also

Matching words

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