belay

verb
be·​lay | \ bi-ˈlā How to pronounce belay (audio) , bē- \
belayed; belaying

Definition of belay

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to secure (a rope or cable) by turns around a cleat (see cleat entry 1 sense 1b), pin, or bitt
b : to make fast : to fasten down belaying ammunition on deck
2 nautical : stop, cancel belay that last order
3a : to secure (a person) at the end of a rope belay a climber belaying each other over the difficult places.National Geographic
b : to secure (a rope) to a person or object

intransitive verb

1 : to be made fast knowing where each rope belays on deck
2 nautical : stop, quit used in the imperativebelay there
3 : to make a line (see line entry 1 sense 1) fast by turns around a cleat, pin, or bitt

belay

noun

Definition of belay (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the securing of a person or a safety rope to an anchor point (as during mountain climbing) Belays are more difficult to secure on ice and snow than on rock …— Kenneth A. Henderson also : a method of so securing a person or rope
2 : something (such as a projection of rock) to which a person or rope is anchored

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Other Words from belay

Verb

belayer \ bi-​ˈlā-​ər How to pronounce belayer (audio) , bē-​ \ noun

Examples of belay in a Sentence

Verb The climber belayed the rope.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Don't belay, chalk up those hands (sorry, not sorry). Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "100 Cute Date Ideas so You Never Get Bored Again," 26 Mar. 2020 The follower has to climb and remove gear from the wall while also belaying the leader. Grayson Schaffer, Outside Online, "Inside Emily Harrington’s Scary Fall on El Capitan," 26 Nov. 2019 Three took off at any one time, belayed by their successors, in lanes marked with red and white tape. Simon Akam, Outside Online, "You Won’t Pass Chamonix’s Mountain Guiding Test," 27 Nov. 2019 Sport climbing involves climbing heights of 40 feet or higher with a rope and belaying partner. Jen Murphy, WSJ, "A Climber Still Seeking New Peaks Later in Life," 26 Jan. 2019 Trying to climb tougher grades should be a part of your efforts to improve, but focusing only on the numbers can ruin the fun for you and your belaying best friends. Emily Abbate, GQ, "Everything You Need to Know Before Joining a Rock Climbing Gym," 20 June 2018 Every week, the kid climbers are accompanied by a volunteer mentor—the same person each week, who belays and gives advice and encouragement. Christopher Solomon, Outside Online, "Climbing to a Better Life for Seattle's Refugees," 27 Apr. 2018 For most national associations, certification involves demonstrating several years of backcountry skiing experience, belaying experience, and basic alpine climbing systems. Cassidy Randall, Outside Online, "When to Have Kids When You Work in the Mountains?," 3 Apr. 2018 Seeing a reflection of her own Federation in this resistance cell, Burnham belays the order and goes down to the alien surface to confront its leader. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Feels Increasingly More Comfortable In a Universe of Killers," 15 Jan. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Combining marijuana and climbing should be done with serious intention and without harming belay partners or fellow climbers. Brendan Bures, chicagotribune.com, "How rock climbers can use marijuana in recovery and training," 23 Sep. 2019 With eight hours of climbing in the rearview mirror, only a single belay pitch stood between her and solid ground. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Why women-only adventure travel is surging," 31 Aug. 2019 With eight hours of climbing in the rearview mirror, only a single belay pitch stood between her and solid ground. Heather Balogh Rochfort, chicagotribune.com, "Why women-only adventure travel is surging," 28 Aug. 2019 With eight hours of climbing in the rearview mirror, only a single belay pitch stood between her and solid ground. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Why women-only adventure travel is surging," 31 Aug. 2019 With eight hours of climbing in the rearview mirror, only a single belay pitch stood between her and solid ground. Heather Balogh Rochfort, chicagotribune.com, "Why women-only adventure travel is surging," 28 Aug. 2019 With eight hours of climbing in the rearview mirror, only a single belay pitch stood between her and solid ground. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Why women-only adventure travel is surging," 31 Aug. 2019 With eight hours of climbing in the rearview mirror, only a single belay pitch stood between her and solid ground. Heather Balogh Rochfort, chicagotribune.com, "Why women-only adventure travel is surging," 28 Aug. 2019 With eight hours of climbing in the rearview mirror, only a single belay pitch stood between her and solid ground. Heather Balogh Rochfort, The Know, "Why women-only adventure travel is surging," 31 Aug. 2019

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

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First Known Use of belay

Verb

circa 1550, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1905, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for belay

Verb

Middle English beleggen to beset, from Old English belecgan, from be- + lecgan to lay

Noun

noun derivative of belay entry 1

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Time Traveler for belay

Time Traveler

The first known use of belay was circa 1550

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Statistics for belay

Cite this Entry

“Belay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/belay. Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for belay

belay

verb
How to pronounce belay (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of belay

: to attach (a rope) to something so that it is secure : to attach a secure rope to (a person) for safety

More from Merriam-Webster on belay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with belay

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