a. One that lays: a tile layer.
b. A hen kept for laying eggs.
a. A single thickness of a material covering a surface or forming an overlying part or segment: a layer of dust on the windowsill; a cake with four layers.
b. A usually horizontal deposit or expanse; a stratum: layers of sedimentary rock; a layer of warm air.
c. A depth or level: a poem with several layers of meaning.
3. Botany A stem that is covered with soil for rooting while still part of the living plant.
4. An item of clothing worn over or under another.
v. lay·ered, lay·er·ing, lay·ers
1. To divide or form into layers: layered gravel and charcoal to make a filter.
2. To cut (hair) into different, usually overlapping lengths.
3. Botany To propagate (a plant) by means of a layer.
4. To wear (clothing) in layers.
1. To form or come apart as layers.
2. Botany To take root as a result of layering.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.