Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

belay

[bih-ley] /bɪˈleɪ/
verb (used with object), belayed, belaying.
1.
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.
2.
Mountain Climbing.
  1. to secure (a person) by attaching to one end of a rope.
  2. to secure (a rope) by attaching to a person or to an object offering stable support.
3.
  1. to cease (an action); stop.
  2. to ignore (an announcement, order, etc.):
    Belay that, the meeting will be at 0900 instead of 0800.
verb (used without object), belayed, belaying.
4.
to belay a rope:
Belay on that cleat over there.
noun
5.
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
900
before 900; Middle English beleggen, Old English belecgan. See be-, lay1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for belayed
Historical Examples
  • He seized the fellow and thrust him toward the pins where the halyards were belayed.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • Murphy and Hennesey nippered the falls at the pinrail, and belayed when they slacked.

    The Grain Ship Morgan Robertson
  • The brace was belayed: he sprang into the rigging that Jessie might see him.

    The Two Shipmates William H. G. Kingston
  • Davies had belayed the painter, and now had to explain the origin of the mizzen.

    The Riddle of the Sands Erskine Childers
  • I had just belayed the halyards when Anthea came to me with the keys.

    The First Mate Harry Collingwood
  • If your halliards are belayed to cleats, marl them to the cleat.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • I ran to windward, belayed the braces, and raised a loud cry.

  • Muttering unintelligibly, he cast it off the pin to which it was belayed.

    The Log of a Sea-Waif Frank T. Bullen
  • Then I belayed the fall securely to one of a pair of cleats, and approached him.

    The Uttermost Farthing R. Austin Freeman
  • I belayed the rope to the second cleat and set a half-hitch on the turns.

    The Uttermost Farthing R. Austin Freeman
British Dictionary definitions for belayed

belay

/bɪˈleɪ/
verb -lays, -laying, -layed
1.
(nautical) to make fast (a line) by securing to a pin, cleat, or bitt
2.
(usually imperative) (nautical) to stop; cease
3.
(mountaineering) (ˈbiːˌleɪ). to secure (a climber) to a mountain by tying the rope off round a rock spike, piton, nut, etc
noun
4.
(mountaineering) (ˈbiːˌleɪ). 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 fall See also running belay
Word Origin
Old English belecgan; related to Old High German bileggen, Dutch beleggen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for belayed

belay

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for belay

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for belayed

13
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for belayed