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  1. halyard.


or hal·liard

  1. any of various lines or tackles for hoisting a spar, sail, flag, etc., into position for use.

Origin of halyard

1325–75; Middle English halier rope to haul with (see hale2, -ier1) with final syllable altered by association with yard1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for halliard

Historical Examples

  • More than likely it will be young Halliard himself that will come to the doorgracious!

    The Campers Out

    Edward S. Ellis

  • The next, and he came sliding down a halliard to his old perch.

  • A piece of the halliard was cut off to tie the flag securely.

  • We threw down the loose end of halliard, and began the descent.

  • Then Harry, calling to him to mind his steering, hauled on a halliard and a mass of thrashing canvas rose up the mast.

British Dictionary definitions for halliard


  1. a variant spelling of halyard



  1. nautical a line for hoisting or lowering a sail, flag, or spar

Word Origin

C14: halier, influenced by yard 1; see hale ²
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

Word Origin and History for halliard



"rope for hoisting sails," 1610s, from Middle English halier "a halyard" (late 14c.), also "a carrier, porter" (late 13c. in surnames), from halen "to haul" (see hale (v.)). Spelling influenced by yard "long beam that supports a sail" (see yard (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper