1

belay

verb be·lay \ bi-ˈlā , bē- \

Definition of belay

belayed; belaying
transitive verb
1 a :to secure (a rope or cable) by turns around a cleat (see 1cleat 1b), pin, or bitt
b :to make fast :to fasten down
  • belaying ammunition on deck
2 nautical :stop, cancel
  • belay that last order
3 a :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 1line 1) fast by turns around a cleat, pin, or bitt

belayer

play \-ər\ noun

Examples of belay in a Sentence

  1. The climber belayed the rope.

Recent Examples of belay from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of belay

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


2

belay

noun

Definition of belay

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

Recent Examples of belay from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of belay

noun derivative of 1belay


BELAY Defined for English Language Learners

belay

verb

Definition of belay for English Language Learners

  • : 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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