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.
Examples from the Web for belay
Finally Tugg sang out to Pedro to belay the work he and the crew were engaged in, and to lower a boat again.Swept Out to Sea|W. Bertram Foster
"Avast, and belay there with a double turn, goodman host," exclaimed the Captain.The Knight of the Golden Melice|John Turvill Adams
"You belay," remarked the Captain, turning towards the vermin of Law with profound disdain.The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 3 of 3|George Augustus Sala
By the time a voice on board her cried, "Belay," faintly, she had gone from my sight.Romance|Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
Pass the cat-stopper through the ring of the anchor, through the chock, belay it to the cat-tail, and seize it to its own part.The Seaman's Friend|Richard Henry Dana
British Dictionary definitions for belay
verb -lays, -laying or -layed
Word Origin for 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.