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layer (n.)

late 14c., "one who or that lays" (especially stones, "a mason"), agent noun from lay (v.). Passive sense of "a thickness of some material laid over a surface" is first recorded 1610s, but because the earliest English use was in cookery this is perhaps from French liue "binding," used of a thickened sauce. Of hens from 1707. Layer cake attested from 1875.

layer (v.)

1832, in gardening, as a method of plant propagation, from layer (n.). Meaning "to form into layers" is from 1852. Related: Layered; layering.

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Definitions of layer from WordNet
1
layer (n.)
single thickness of usually some homogeneous substance;
Synonyms: bed
layer (n.)
a relatively thin sheetlike expanse or region lying over or under another;
layer (n.)
an abstract place usually conceived as having depth;
a simile has at least two layers of meaning
Synonyms: level / stratum
layer (n.)
a hen that lays eggs;
layer (n.)
thin structure composed of a single thickness of cells;
2
layer (v.)
make or form a layer;
layer the different colored sands
From wordnet.princeton.edu