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 belayed
Historical Examples of belayed
He seized the fellow and thrust him toward the pins where the halyards were belayed.Blow The Man Down
Murphy and Hennesey nippered the falls at the pinrail, and belayed when they slacked.The Grain Ship
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
I had just belayed the halyards when Anthea came to me with the keys.The First Mate
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.