- lie (v.1)
- "speak falsely, tell an untruth," late 12c., from Old English legan, ligan, earlier leogan "deceive, belie, betray" (class II strong verb; past tense leag, past participle logen), from Proto-Germanic *leugan (source also of Old Norse ljuga, Danish lyve, Old Frisian liaga, Old Saxon and Old High German liogan, German lügen, Gothic liugan), from PIE root *leugh- "to tell a lie."
- lie (v.2)
- "rest horizontally," early 12c., from Old English licgan (class V strong verb; past tense læg, past participle legen) "be situated, remain; be at rest, lie down," from Proto-Germanic *legjan (source also of Old Norse liggja, Old Frisian lidzia, Middle Dutch ligghen, Dutch liggen, Old High German ligen, German liegen, Gothic ligan), from PIE *legh- "to lie, lay" (source also of Hittite laggari "falls, lies," Greek lekhesthai "to lie down," Latin lectus "bed," Old Church Slavonic lego "to lie down," Lithuanian at-lagai "fallow land," Old Irish laigim "I lie down," Irish luighe "couch, grave"). To lie with "have sexual intercourse" is from c. 1300, and compare Old English licgan mid "cohabit with." To take (something) lying down "passively, submissively" is from 1854.
- lie (n.2)
- "manner of lying," 1690s, from lie (v.2). Sense in golf is from 1857.
- lie (n.1)
- "an untruth," Old English lyge "lie, falsehood," from Proto-Germanic *lugiz (source also of Old Norse lygi, Danish løgn, Old Frisian leyne (fem.), Dutch leugen (fem.), Old High German lugi, German Lüge, Gothic liugn "a lie"), from the root of lie (v.1). To give the lie to "accuse directly of lying" is attested from 1590s. Lie-detector first recorded 1909.
In mod. use, the word is normally a violent expression of moral reprobation, which in polite conversation tends to be avoided, the synonyms falsehood and untruth being often substituted as relatively euphemistic. [OED]