lay of the land

1. The natural features of a piece of land, such as hills and valleys.
The style of house the contractor builds depends partly on the lay of the land.
2. The way something is arranged; the important facts about something; how things are.
The banker wanted to check the lay of the land before buying the stock.
Before the new boy will join our club, he wants to see how the land lies.
Categories: noun

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