- Nautical. to fasten (a rope) by winding around a pin or short rod inserted in a holder so that both ends of the rod are clear.
- Mountain Climbing.
- to secure (a person) by attaching to one end of a rope.
- to secure (a rope) by attaching to a person or to an object offering stable support.
- (used chiefly in the imperative)
- to cease (an action); stop.
- to ignore (an announcement, order, etc.): Belay that, the meeting will be at 0900 instead of 0800.
- to belay a rope: Belay on that cleat over there.
- Mountain Climbing. a rock, bush, or other object sturdy enough for a running rope to be passed around it to secure a hold.
Origin of belay
Examples from the Web for belay
The order was given to belay the head braces, and we waited the result in silence.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
By the time a voice on board her cried, "Belay," faintly, she had gone from my sight.Romance
Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
Well there with the throat-halliards; well with the peak; belay!The Pirate Slaver
“Belay that sea-lawyering, Marline,” interposed Captain Miles.
“Belay that,” said Captain Miles, rousing up now and rubbing his eyes.
- nautical to make fast (a line) by securing to a pin, cleat, or bitt
- (usually imperative) nautical to stop; cease
- (ˈbiːˌleɪ) mountaineering to secure (a climber) to a mountain by tying the rope off round a rock spike, piton, nut, etc
- (ˈbiːˌleɪ) mountaineering the attachment (of a climber) to a mountain by tying the rope off round a rock spike, piton, nut, etc, to safeguard the party in the event of a fallSee also running belay
Word Origin and History for belay
from Old English bilecgan, which, among other senses, meant "to lay a thing about" (with other objects), from be- + lecgan "to lay" (see lay (v.)). The only surviving sense is the nautical one of "coil a running rope round a cleat or pin to secure it" (also transferred to mountain-climbing), first attested 1540s; but this is possibly a cognate word, from Dutch beleggen.