Phrasal Verb

Meaning

Example Sentence

lapse into

To pass gradually into a worse state or condition.

He lapsed into a coma after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

lay about

To beat violently on all sides.+

He laid about his would-be pickpocket with his walking stick.

lay aside

To temporarily suspend doing something. 

They may decide to lay aside the building project until the rainy season ends. 

To save for future use.

The couple lay/lays aside an amount of money for a summer holiday.

lay away

To reserve for future use.

The land has been laid away for a housing project.

lay down

To stop fighting. 

A call for ceasefire was ignored as both sides refused to lay down their arms. 

To formulate rule, principle, etc. 

The document lays down clear guidelines on the use of chemicals. 

To store wine in a cellar for drinking in the future.

It is an underground cellar where they lay down wine.

lay in

To store away a supply of something for future use.

Residents in this remote region usually lay in sufficient food in case they are cut off by adverse weather conditions.

lay into

To carry out a physical or verbal attack against someone.

No one knew why she suddenly laid into him.

lay off

To discharge a worker temporarily or permanently

Mark was laid off after working for the company for twenty years. 

To stop doing or using something

She warned him to lay off excessive alcohol or she would leave him.

lay on

To provide something such as food, entertainment, etc.

They laid on a generous buffet for visitors to their sales promotion.

lay out

To arrange or spread out something.

Miniature models of houses and buildings in a new housing estate were laid out for viewing.  

To spend large amount of money. 

He has no hesitation in laying out hundreds of dollars on a hotel room for a night. 

To knock unconscious.

He was laid out for a few minutes when a ball struck him on the head.

lay over

To make a stopover when going on a journey.

He usually lays over when driving on a long journey.

lead off

To start or begin.

He led off by thanking those present for joining in the discussion.

lead on

To deceive.

How long is he going to let her lead him on before the truth dawns on him?

lead to

To join directly to some place.

We took a wrong turn which led us to an old cemetery. 

To result in something happening

A reward for information led to the capture of the murderer.

lead up to

To give an account of something.

The television documentary recounted the events leading up to the bombing of the airport.

leaf through

To turn pages quickly without serious reading.

Bob leafed through many magazines while waiting at the clinic.

lean against

To rest something against something else so that it is supported.

He leaned a ladder against the gutter to reach the roof.

lean on

To derive support from.

In times of difficulty it would be great to have someone to lean on for support.

lean towards

To have a tendency.

Police believe the group is leaning towards terrorism.

leave aside

To not include something.

Let’s leave that aside as it is not relevant in this discussion.

leave behind

To forget to take something with you.

I have this feeling that I have left something behind, but can’t figure out what it is. 

To have surviving relatives after one’s death.

The deceased left behind a wife and two children. 

To go away from a place without taking something along.

The tourists left behind a trail of litter. 

To go away and cause something such as damage and destruction to remain. 

The storm has passed, leaving behind a trail of devastation. 

To lag or fall behind.

You will get left behind if you don’t work as hard as the others.

leave off

To stop doing something.

Let’s continue from where we left off.

leave out

To not include someone or something.

This is the first time he is left out of the squad for the World Cup.

let down

To disappoint someone. 

He really let us down by not turning up to show us how to do it. 

To withdraw support.

The few of them let the candidate down by switching their support to his opponent.  

let in

To allow something to enter. 

Let’s open the windows and let the air in. 

To allow someone to enter. 

She believed the house was haunted as the bedroom door once opened by itself to let her in. 

To place oneself in a difficult situation.

He’s beginning to realize how much trouble he is letting himself in by borrowing heavily from different sources.

let in on

To trust someone.

She’s prepared to let me in on her secret recipe if I promised not to tell other people about it.

let into

To allow someone to enter.

They only let certain individuals into the building.

let off

To not punish someone.

If you pluck my apples again, I’ll not let you off. 

To make something explode.

Someone tied a string of firecrackers to a dog’s tail and let them off.

let on

To reveal something.

He made her promise not to let on that he did it.

let out

To allow someone or something to leave.

It usually barks when it wants to be let out. 

To utter a sound.

When she heard the news, she let out a sigh of relief. 

To make an item of clothing looser.

She’s letting some of her clothes out as she has put on weight.

let up

To stop or abate.

It looks like the rain is not going to let up, so what shall we do? 

To become less determined.

The rescuers will not let up in their effort to find the missing victims.

level against

To direct accusation at someone.

They have yet to prove the charges relating to embezzlement leveled against him.

level at

To aim something such as criticism, accusation, etc. at someone.

All he can ever do is level criticism at others for their mistakes.

level off

To not fluctuate.

Prices of houses in the area have leveled off after recent hike.

level out

To move horizontally.

After reaching the height of 20,000 feet, the plane leveled out.

level with

To speak frankly.

The candidate’s aides will level with him about what the voters are saying about him.