The noun layer describes a thin piece that's stacked on other thin pieces, like a layer of noodles in a lasagna dish. You can also apply a layer of paint to make your wall color more vivid.

Layer can also be used figuratively to describe an abstract thickness or barrier. Celebrities are known to surround themselves with managers, agents, stylists, and friends — forming a layer between them and the prying public. Layer can also be a verb. You can layer your bed with blankets on a cold night, as a layer of ice forms on the sidewalks and streets outside.

Primary Meanings of layer

single thickness of usually some homogeneous substance
make or form a layer
a hen that lays eggs
Full Definitions of layer

n single thickness of usually some homogeneous substance

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backing, mount
something forming a back that is added for strengthening
a layer of lead surrounding the highly reactive core of a nuclear reactor
course, row
(construction) a layer of masonry
the layer of air that supports a hovercraft or similar vehicle
a layer placed between other layers
one of the layers forming the heel of a shoe or boot
a layer of decorative material (such as gold leaf or wood veneer) applied over a surface
(usually in combinations) one of several layers of cloth or paper or wood as in plywood
one of two or more layers one atop another
a layer of material that encloses space
damp course, damp-proof course
a course of some impermeable material laid in the foundation walls of building near the ground to prevent dampness from rising into the building
row of bricks
a course of bricks place next to each other (usually in a straight line)
top lift
the bottom layer of a heel
Type of:
artefact, artifact
a man-made object taken as a whole

n a relatively thin sheetlike expanse or region lying over or under another

A horizon
the top layer of a soil profile; usually contains humus
B horizon
immediately below the A-horizon; contains deposits of organic matter leached from surface soils
C horizon
beneath the B-horizon and above the bedrock; consisting of weathered rock
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one of several parallel layers of material arranged one on top of another (such as a layer of tissue or cells in an organism or a layer of sedimentary rock)
the lower layer of the crust
a gaseous layer of the sun's atmosphere (extending from the photosphere to the corona) that is visible during a total eclipse of the sun
Earth's crust, crust
the outer layer of the Earth
the outermost atmospheric layer
the watery layer of the earth's surface; includes water vapor
geosphere, lithosphere
the solid part of the earth consisting of the crust and outer mantle
lower mantle
the deeper part of the mantle
the layer of the earth between the crust and the core
the atmospheric layer between the stratosphere and the thermosphere
ozone layer, ozonosphere
a layer in the stratosphere (at approximately 20 miles) that contains a concentration of ozone sufficient to block most ultraviolet radiation from the sun
the atmospheric layer between the troposphere and the mesosphere
Earth's surface, surface
the outermost level of the land or sea
the atmospheric layer between the mesosphere and the exosphere
the region of discontinuity between the troposphere and the stratosphere
the lowest atmospheric layer; from 4 to 11 miles high (depending on latitude)
upper mantle
the upper part of the mantle
cell wall
a rigid layer of polysaccharides enclosing the membrane of plant and prokaryotic cells; maintains the shape of the cell and serves as a protective barrier
a layer of snowflakes (white crystals of frozen water) covering the ground
cuticle, epidermis
the outer layer of the skin covering the exterior body surface of vertebrates
corneum, horny layer, stratum corneum
the outermost layer of the epidermis consisting of dead cells that slough off
stratum lucidum
the layer of epidermis immediately under the stratum corneum in the skin of the palms and soles
stratum granulosum
the layer of epidermis just under the stratum corneum or (on the palms and soles) just under the stratum lucidum; contains cells (with visible granules) that die and move to the surface
malpighian layer, rete Malpighii, stratum basale, stratum germinativum
the innermost layer of the epidermis
corium, derma, dermis
the deep vascular inner layer of the skin
the inner layer of the periosteum
paries, wall
(anatomy) a layer (a lining or membrane) that encloses a structure
substrate, substratum
any stratum or layer lying underneath another
superstrate, superstratum
any stratum or layer superimposed on another
a specific layer or stratum of soil or subsoil in a vertical cross section of land
bed, seam
a stratum of ore or coal thick enough to be mined with profit
(geology) a stratum of rock (especially sedimentary rock)
the bottom surface of any lake or other body of water
the lower inside surface of any hollow structure
a ridge of the earth's crust that has been forced upward between two faults and so is higher than the surrounding land
crustal plate, plate
a rigid layer of the Earth's crust that is believed to drift slowly
corn snow
granular snow formed by alternate thawing and freezing
heavy wet snow that is unsuitable for skiing
Type of:
part, region
the extended spatial location of something

n thin structure composed of a single thickness of cells

blastoderm, blastodisc, germinal area, germinal disc
a layer of cells on the inside of the blastula
layer of cells that secretes the chitinous cuticle in e.g. arthropods
Type of:
anatomical structure, bodily structure, body structure, complex body part, structure
a particular complex anatomical part of a living thing

n an abstract place usually conceived as having depth

“a simile has at least two layers of meaning”
level, stratum
Type of:
an abstract mental location

v make or form a layer

layer the different colored sands”
Type of:
forge, form, mold, mould, shape, work
make something, usually for a specific function

n a hen that lays eggs

Type of:
biddy, hen
adult female chicken

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