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

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 Next, with a fistful of sample suits (halter, triangle-top, strapless), Holden talked about support, specifically in the bust. Katie Sturino, Glamour, "We Teamed Up With ASOS to Design the Perfect Swimsuit for Sizes 14 and Up," 26 Apr. 2018 Is the halter neck dress on its way to becoming the official silhouette of the royals? Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Sofia Takes a Page from Meghan Markle's Style Book," 15 June 2018 Summerfest, 1998: A woman wearing a pink halter top and gold jewelry rubbed sunscreen on her daughter's scrunched nose. Elena Weissmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 1998 featured scrunchies, tie-dye and Widespread Panic," 28 June 2018 Still, the halter-neck silhouette does seem to be having a resurgence. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Meghan Markle's Wedding-Reception Look Was So Good, Other Royals Are Trying It," 15 June 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

15 Oct 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

See 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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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