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 imperative belay 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 belay (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, 26 Mar. 2020 The follower has to climb and remove gear from the wall while also belaying the leader. Grayson Schaffer, Outside Online, 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, 27 Nov. 2019 Sport climbing involves climbing heights of 40 feet or higher with a rope and belaying partner. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 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, 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, 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, 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, 15 Jan. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This is where knot skills can come in handy, but the display also covers mechanical ascenders and belay devices. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, 27 May 2021 Filled with synthetic insulation, the Nano Puff is an ultra-lightweight belay jacket perfect for wet conditions—that is, temperatures around freezing and up—as synthetic insulation dries out more quickly than goose down. Matt Jancer, Wired, 11 Mar. 2021 Filled with synthetic insulation, the Nano Puff is an ultra-lightweight belay jacket perfect for wet conditions—that is, temperatures around freezing and up—as synthetic insulation dries out more quickly than goose down. Matt Jancer, Wired, 11 Mar. 2021 Filled with synthetic insulation, the Nano Puff is an ultra-lightweight belay jacket perfect for wet conditions—that is, temperatures around freezing and up—as synthetic insulation dries out more quickly than goose down. Matt Jancer, Wired, 11 Mar. 2021 Filled with synthetic insulation, the Nano Puff is an ultra-lightweight belay jacket perfect for wet conditions—that is, temperatures around freezing and up—as synthetic insulation dries out more quickly than goose down. Matt Jancer, Wired, 11 Mar. 2021 Your partner, the belayer [2], will clip in to the other end using a carabiner attached to a belay device [3], which looks a lot like the front of a pig's nose. Jacqueline Detwiler-george, Popular Mechanics, 16 Mar. 2021 Filled with synthetic insulation, the Nano Puff is an ultra-lightweight belay jacket perfect for wet conditions—that is, temperatures around freezing and up—as synthetic insulation dries out more quickly than goose down. Matt Jancer, Wired, 11 Mar. 2021 Filled with synthetic insulation, the Nano Puff is an ultra-lightweight belay jacket perfect for wet conditions—that is, temperatures around freezing and up—as synthetic insulation dries out more quickly than goose down. Matt Jancer, Wired, 11 Mar. 2021

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 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for belay

belay

verb

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

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for belay

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