in·lay (ĭnlā′, ĭn-lā)
tr.v. in·laid (-lād′), in·lay·ing, in·lays
a. To set (pieces of wood or ivory, for example) into a surface, usually at the same level, to form a design.
b. To decorate by setting in such designs.
2. To insert (a photograph, for example) within a mat in a book.
a. Contrasting material set into a surface in pieces to form a design.
b. A design, pattern, or decoration made by inlaying.
2. Dentistry A solid filling, as of gold or porcelain, fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.
(click for a larger image)inlay
detail of colored and
semiprecious stones inlaid
in white marble at the
Taj Mahal mausoleum
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.