Velay (vəlāˈ) [key], region, E central France, in the Massif Central and partly in Haute-Loire dept. Partly volcanic in origin, the region has many high arid plateaus, some of startling beauty. Le Puy-en-Velay, the chief city and ancient capital (see Puy-en-Velay, Le), is set in a fertile basin. Velay is noted for its lace. The region was held in turn by the counts of Toulouse and the English rulers of Aquitaine and was united with the French crown by Louis VIII in the 13th cent.