hal·​ter | \ ˈhȯl-tər \

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 \

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

The Duchess of Sussex stepped out for the charity show, taking place at London's Palladium Theatre, wearing a black halter look by Safiyaa. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Wears a Black Safiyaa Look at the Royal Variety Performance," 19 Nov. 2018 Long-haired maven Madame Kush evoked some West Coast flair in a bubblegum-pink zebra-striped halter top and a pair of neon blue leopard print pants. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Tracee Ellis Ross Creates a New Shoe, Kelela Glitters, and More," 6 Oct. 2018 Markle’s white halter dress won’t be included since the reception was a private event, the Royal Collection Trust told the outlet. Zoe Szathmary, Fox News, "Meghan Markle's Stella McCartney reception dress won't be part of royal wedding exhibit, report says," 30 Aug. 2018 A few years later, in 2002, a group of Kosovar and Serbian party-goers, armed with camcorders and turntables and dressed in halter tops and cargo pants boarded The Road of Peace Train. Sarah Souli, Condé Nast Traveler, "Kosovo Is an All-Night Party—And Shows No Signs of Slowing Down," 26 Oct. 2018 Gabriella Papadakis experiences a costume malfunction with her dress for the second time this week, according to @KurtBrowning The clasp at the back of her halter snapped. Adam Carlson, PEOPLE.com, "French Ice Dancer Suffers a Wardrobe Malfunction — but Pulls Through for Second-Place Finish," 19 Feb. 2018 The chic Dior ensemble consisted of a black tulle leotard that gathered at the neck into skinny halter straps, over which Bella wore a fully see-through ruffly black midi-length skirt. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid Wears Completely Sheer Skirt to Dior Backstage Launch Event," 8 June 2018 Harry changed into a sleek black tuxedo for the private event, while Meghan slipped out of her Givenchy gown and into a silk halter dress custom-made for the evening by Stella McCartney. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's First Dance Song Revealed — and It's an '80s Pop Classic!," 20 May 2018 While walking the red carpet, Coel wore a backless gown in a vibrant red and blue print with halter straps, accessorizing with a gold pendant necklace, a gold bangle on her upper arm, and black ankle boots. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Michaela Coel Made Her Own Dress in Less Than 2 Hours for the 'Black Panther' Premiere," 9 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for halter

Last Updated

24 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for halter

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

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More Definitions for halter



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 \

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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