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lay

1. A term used to decribe how the fibers in a rope or the wires in a cable, are twisted as a natural part of the manufacturing process. A rope with all the fibers going the way they want to is said to be "in balance" or "in equalibrium." Fighting the kinks in rope or multi-cable will just lead to heartache. One of the best methods is to raise one end in the air (such as tied to a batten) and letting the free end twist as it wants until it comes to rest.

From http://www.inventionfactory.com/history/rhawire/wireengn/wire/whatis.html:
2. To put or place gently, usually on a horizontal surface: "Now I lay me down to sleep..."

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