Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


or halliard

[hal-yerd] /ˈhæl yərd/
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for halyard
Historical Examples
  • And, knotting the Luttrell flag on the halyard, he hoisted it in a moment.

    Luttrell Of Arran Charles James Lever
  • He stumbled to the sail; but his fingers were all thumbs, and he could not untie the halyard.

    Down The River Oliver Optic
  • He was not a strong man, but he did the best he could at the halyard, and the mate was satisfied with him.

    The Coming Wave Oliver Optic
  • "It is all up with us," said Mr. Carboy, the mate, as he dropped the halyard.

    The Coming Wave Oliver Optic
  • Half-way up he rested, by clutching the halyard and twisting it about his arm.

    The Rival Campers Ashore

    Ruel Perley Smith
  • Then set up hard on the halyard, using the windlass or watch-tackle.

    On Yachts and Yacht Handling Thomas Fleming Day
  • On the quarter-deck, by the side of the capstan, he found halyard and the drummer.

    Hildebrand Anonymous
  • Led on by halyard, they sprang on the deck, and pressed forward in a mass.

    Hildebrand Anonymous
  • Hildebrand resigned the helm to his mate, Tom Tarpaulin, as halyard came up.

    Hildebrand Anonymous
  • Here, indeed, was a sailor hoist to his own yard-arm with his own halyard.

    Terre Napoleon Ernest Scott
British Dictionary definitions for halyard


(nautical) a line for hoisting or lowering a sail, flag, or spar
Word Origin
C14: halier, influenced by yard1; see hale²
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 halyard

"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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for halyard

Word Value for halyard

Scrabble Words With Friends