verb (used with object), be·layed, be·lay·ing.
- 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.
- to cease (an action); stop.
- to ignore (an announcement, order, etc.): Belay that, the meeting will be at 0900 instead of 0800.
verb (used without object), be·layed, be·lay·ing.
Origin of belay
Examples from the Web for belay
Historical Examples of 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.
verb -lays, -laying or -layed
Word Origin 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.