to get the lay of the land

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - get the lay of the land

"to get the lay of the land"

to learn the general situation or circumstances, especially in preparation for action


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - get the lay of the land

Two managers are talking ...

Manager 1:  Congratulations on your new promotion. I understand that you were brought in to make some significant changes to the department?

Manager 2:  Yes. The department needs a major overhaul.

Manager 1:  So, what is the plan? What changes will you implement first?

Manager 2:  First, I want to just get a lay of the land. I will observe and ask questions and get a really good idea of how the department operates currently before making any major changes.

Manager 1:  Wise.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - get the lay of the land

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I heard your parents are sending you off to college a week early?

Friend 2:  They want me to have a free week before school starts so that I have the opportunity to familiarize myself with the campus and the town. You know, learn where my classes will be, get my books and any other stuff I might need for my dorm room, that sort of thing. That way, when classes start, I can really concentrate on studying.

Friend 1:  Great idea. Go early and get the lay of the land. Should be fun.

to get the lay of the land - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   376   click for frequency by country

to get the lay of the land - Gerund Form:

Getting the lay of the land before making major decisions is wise.

to get the lay of the land - Examples:

1)  At the moment, it seems parents are trying to get the lay of the land rather than making firm decisions on school places. 

2)  ... of building a cabinet or perhaps attending daily intelligence briefings in order to get the lay of the land before diving into the position of being the most powerful leader on ...

3)  ... simple one-member, one-vote process just makes it all the more treacherous to get the lay of the land.

4)  Show up early to get the lay of the land if you're not already familiar with the area.

5)  On average, it only takes about five minutes to get the lay of the land and learn to use it.

6)  ... it only takes a few sessions to get the lay of the land, discern the best sniping spots, and discover high-traffic areas.

7)  ... certified general accountant. He even spent sometime in an accounting office to get the lay of the land.

8)  ... woman who recently moved in from a different area and needs help to get the lay of the land or for a woman who has immigrated and is looking how to ...

9)  The first order of business has been to get the lay of the land and to make some decisions as to direction.

10)  ... have to be able to size up a situation quickly... and really get the lay of the land.

11)  ... and why but maybe the new owners need need to get in, get the lay of the land, and figure out what's going on.

12)  Despite its size, once you get the lay of the land, this colossal ship is surprisingly easy to navigate.

13)  ... had sent out reconnaissance teams including snipers to get the lay of the land before the main force was to sweep forward with infantry and armoured ...

14)  We always planned to start our own business but first wanted to get the lay of the land.

15)  Do you know anyone at the company who I might speak with to get the lay of the land before I apply?

16)  ... meeting key people in the organization to sort of get the lay of the land and the depth and the breadth of this organization.

17)  ... great way to get your message out, connect with future clients and get the lay of the land from people on the ground in your industry.

18)  ... is wary of making rash decisions and is taking some time to get the lay of the land.

19)  ... have to really learn, and listen, and ask questions and get the lay of the land.

20)  If you've never taken up the virtual paintbrush before, get the lay of the land with this overview of the workspace.