hal·​ter | \ ˈhȯl-tər How to pronounce halter (audio) \

Definition of halter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a rope or strap for leading or tying an animal
b : a headstall usually with noseband and throatlatch to which a lead may be attached
2 : a rope for hanging criminals : noose also : death by hanging
3 : a woman's blouse or top that leaves the back, arms, and midriff bare and that is typically held in place by straps around the neck and across the back


haltered; haltering\ ˈhȯl-​t(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce haltering (audio) \

Definition of halter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to catch with or as if with a halter also : to put a halter on
b : hang
2 : to put restraint upon : hamper

Illustration of halter

Illustration of halter


halter 1b

In the meaning defined above

Examples of halter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tim wore a dark suit and tie, while Jane stunned in a black and white halter dress with floral accents and a small bow at the top. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Last Man Standing's Tim Allen Looked So in Love With His Wife at the Golden Globes," 6 Jan. 2020 Necklines have diversified, too, from square-necks to one-shoulders to halters. Anny Choi, Vogue, "Why a One-Piece Swimsuit and Full Skirt (Or Short!) Is the Perfect Summer Pair," 3 July 2019 Stella McCartney designed Meghan’s halter-style wedding reception dress, and the royal has turned to the designer for outfits since then! Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Royal Rewear! See All of Meghan Markle's Best Repeated Outfits," 3 Oct. 2019 Morrison's wife wore a midnight blue sequined halter-style gown. Laurie Kellman, Fortune, "Keeping Things Light at Trump’s State Dinner for the Australian Prime Minister," 21 Sep. 2019 Yes, burro racing; runners hold onto a rope attached to a donkey’s halter, and sprint alongside the animal. Sean Gregory, Time, "Chris McDougall Helped Spark the Barefoot Running Craze. Now He's Racing With Donkeys.," 11 Oct. 2019 Zahara followed in her mother's footsteps, opting for the same designer with a wispy halter-top dress with an ombré that faded from black at the top to a sage-green shade beneath the waist. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Matches with Her Kids on the Maleficent Red Carpet in Rome," 8 Oct. 2019 Carey Mullian more than sparkled at the MET Gala in her glittering gold Prada halterdress. Seventeen Magazine, Seventeen, "Recreate Carey Mulligan's MET Gala Look!," 8 May 2012 For her appearance with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, Kim Kardashian wore sleek leather pants, black wedged sandals, and the sheerest black halter top. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian's Sheer Halter Top is a Saucy Piece for the End of Summer," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'halter.' 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 halter


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for halter


Middle English, from Old English hælftre; akin to Old High German halftra halter, Old English hielfe helve

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Time Traveler for halter

Time Traveler

The first known use of halter was before the 12th century

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Statistics for halter

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Halter.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halter. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for halter


How to pronounce halter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of halter

: a set of straps placed around a horse's head so that the horse can be led or tied
: a piece of clothing worn on a woman's upper body that is held in place by straps around the neck and back and that leaves the back, arms, and shoulders bare


hal·​ter | \ ˈhȯl-tər How to pronounce halter (audio) \

Kids Definition of halter

1 : a set of straps placed around an animal's head so the animal can be led or tied
2 : an article of clothing worn on a woman's upper body and held in place by straps around the neck and back

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More from Merriam-Webster on halter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with halter

Spanish Central: Translation of halter

Nglish: Translation of halter for Spanish Speakers

Comments on halter

What made you want to look up halter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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