back·​stay ˈbak-ˌstā How to pronounce backstay (audio)
: a stay extending aft from a masthead
: a strengthening or supporting device at the back (as of a carriage or a shoe)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Ideas that were initially analyzed included easing tension off the backstay cables, which would allow the platform to droop toward the dish a bit, reducing the forces on the cables. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 3 Dec. 2020 At the same time, backstay cables that ran from the tower to the ground came loose and swung around wildly. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 3 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backstay.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of backstay was in 1626

Dictionary Entries Near backstay

Cite this Entry

“Backstay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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