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lie 1

intr.v. lay (lā), lain (lān), ly·ing (lī′ĭng), lies
1. To be or place oneself at rest in a flat, horizontal, or recumbent position; recline: He lay under a tree to sleep.
2. To be placed on or supported by a surface that is usually horizontal: Dirty dishes lay on the table. See Usage Note at lay1.
3. To be or remain in a specified condition: The dust has lain undisturbed for years. He lay sick in bed.
a. To exist; reside: Our sympathies lie with the plaintiff.
b. To consist or have as a basis. Often used with in: The strength of his performance lies in his training.
5. To occupy a position or place: The lake lies beyond this hill.
6. To extend: Our land lies between these trees and the river.
7. To be buried in a specified place.
8. Law To be admissible or maintainable.
9. Archaic To stay for a night or short while.
1. The manner or position in which something is situated.
2. A haunt or hiding place of an animal.
3. Sports The position of a golf ball that has come to a stop.
Phrasal Verbs:
lie down
To do little or nothing: He's lying down on the job.
lie in
To be in confinement for childbirth.
lie to Nautical
To remain stationary while facing the wind.
lie with
1. To be decided by, dependent on, or up to: The choice lies with you.
2. Archaic To have sexual intercourse with.
1. To keep oneself or one's plans hidden.
2. To bide one's time but remain ready for action.

[Middle English lien, from Old English licgan; see legh- in Indo-European roots.]

lie 2

1. A false statement deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.
2. Something meant to deceive or mistakenly accepted as true: learned his parents had been swindlers and felt his whole childhood had been a lie.
v. lied, ly·ing (lī′ĭng), lies
1. To present false information with the intention of deceiving.
2. To convey a false image or impression: Appearances often lie.
To say or write as a lie.
lie through (one's) teeth
To lie outrageously or brazenly.

[Middle English, from Old English lyge; see leugh- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: lie2, equivocate, fib, prevaricate
These verbs mean to evade or depart from the truth: a witness who lied under oath; didn't equivocate about her real purpose; fibbed to escape being scolded; didn't prevaricate but answered honestly.




  1. Falsehood, like poison, will generally be rejected when administered alone; but when blended with wholesome ingredients, may be swallowed unperceived —Richard Whately
  2. Falsehood, like the dry rot, flourishes the more in proportion as air and light are excluded —Richard Whately
  3. A great lie is like a great fish on dry land; it may fret and fling, and make a frightful bother, but it cannot hurt you. You have only to keep still and it will die of itself —George Crabbe
  4. (He’s as) honest as the cat when the meat’s out of reach —H. G. Bohn’s Handbook of Proverbs
  5. Lie as fast as a dog can lick a dish —John Ray’s Proverbs
  6. Lied as often and as badly as politicians —James Crumley
  7. Lied like a fish —John Dos Passos
  8. Lied like an Arab —Ana’s Nin
  9. Lied like a rug —Anon

    In his novel, private I Jimmy Sangster extends this with “Lying like a cheap carpet.”

  10. The lie fell as easily from his lips as a windfall apple —Donald Seaman
  11. A lie is like a snowball; the longer it is rolled, the larger it is —Martin Luther
  12. Lie like a trooper —American colloquialism, attributed to New England
  13. Lie like fish —Saul Bellow
  14. Lies are as communicative as fleas —Walter Savage Landor
  15. Lies as fast as a dog trots —John Ray’s Proverbs
  16. Lies as fast as a horse can trot —Danish proverb

    The comparison tends to change with use “As fast as a dog can trot” being one of the most frequently heard variants.

  17. Lies … buzz about the heads of some people, like flies about a horse’s ears in summer —Jonathan Swift
  18. Lies fall like flaxen thread from the skies —John Ashbery
  19. Lies flew out of my mouth like moths —Susan Fromberg Schaeffer
  20. Lies like a car-dealer —William Mcllvanney
  21. Lying like a book —Bertold Brecht
  22. Lying like an accountant at an audit —A. E. Maxwell
  23. Lying like stink —Angus Wilson
  24. Lying to someone is like blindfolding him: you cannot see the other’s eyes to see how he sees you and so you do not know how it stands with yourself —Walker Percy
  25. The nimble lie is like the second-hand upon a clock; we see it fly, while the hour-hand of truth seems to stand still, and yet it moves unseen, and wins at last, for the clock will not strike till it has reached the goal —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  26. (Our) one white lie sits like a little ghost (here on the threshold of our enterprise) —Alfred, Lord Tennyson
  27. The prevaricator is like an idolater —Eleazar
  28. The telling of a falsehood is like the cut of a sabre; for though the wound may heal, the scar of it will remain —Sadi
  29. To tell a falsehood is like the cut of a sabre; for though the wound may heal, the scar of it will remain —Sadi
  30. When the lie was said it had the effect of leaving her breathless, as if she had just crowned a steep rise —Nadine Gordimer
References in classic literature ?
You see the interest in all this lies in the figures that went before the eyes of the writer.
Aside from being on the spot, below which, or below the vicinity where, I believe, lies the lost city of Kurzon and, I hope, the idol of gold, a situation has arisen--an unexpected situation, I may say--which calls for different action from that I had counted on.
For that reason I am going to show you the maps and ancient documents and point out to you where I believe the lost city lies.
We were talking about what it is like to spend one's childhood in little towns like these, buried in wheat and corn, under stimulating extremes of climate: burning summers when the world lies green and billowy beneath a brilliant sky, when one is fairly stifled in vegetation, in the color and smell of strong weeds and heavy harvests; blustery winters with little snow, when the whole country is stripped bare and gray as sheet-iron.
Now it is you who are telling lies and seeking to deceive me, Mademoiselle; or else you have never been in love, and know nothing about it.
Perhaps no district throughout the wide extent of the intermediate frontiers can furnish a livelier picture of the cruelty and fierceness of the savage warfare of those periods than the country which lies between the head waters of the Hudson and the adjacent lakes.
But it is too fruitful a subject, this of hereditary resemblances, --the frequent recurrence of which, in a direct line, is truly unaccountable, when we consider how large an accumulation of ancestry lies behind every man at the distance of one or two centuries.
The life of the Custom -- House lies like a dream behind me.
Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town.
It all lies in half a dozen words," I said to her, "words that really settle the matter.
But though the picture lies thus tranced, and though this pine-tree shakes down its sighs like leaves upon this shepherd's head, yet all were vain, unless the shepherd's eye were fixed upon the magic stream before him.
Your only salvation lies in eluding it; but if it comes sideways through the opposing water, then partly owing to the light buoyancy of the whaleboat, and the elasticity of its materials, a cracked rib or a dashed plank or two, a sort of stitch in the side, is generally the most serious result.