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 halter (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 Marie begins the movie as Malcolm’s junior partner, eye candy in a showy halter gown. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "‘Malcolm & Marie’ is thick with he said, she said," 3 Feb. 2021 Today, Dua Lipa posted an image on Instagram today of herself in a curve-skimming halter dress with side cut-outs. Vogue, "Dua Lipa Gives Her Dress a Saucy Twist With an Exposed Thong," 11 Jan. 2021 Fellow superstars like Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera were also rocking the dramatic style with their best bootcut jeans and halter tops. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Katie Holmes Revives the Baker Boy Cap," 5 Jan. 2021 Denim transmogrifies into chaps, leather morphs into cable knit flares, and sports tops become slinky halter necks. New York Times, "The Year of Telfar," 21 Dec. 2020 Supplying us with the hottest of Hot Girl vibes, Hailey donned a slinky Saint Laurent halter dress with a thigh slit and a keyhole cutout. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Hailey Baldwin Wore the *Hottest* Cutout Dress For Her 24th Birthday," 23 Nov. 2020 For the vintage performance, Lopez wore a metallic silver halter top, black cargo pants, and her signature hoop earrings. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "J.Lo Just Tried Out an Ultra-Nostalgic '90s Hairstyle on Instagram," 12 Nov. 2020 In one of the more recent high-profile incidents, a woman named Kayla Eubanks was boarding a Southwest Airlines flight from New York LaGuardia to Chicago in a halter top when a gate agent stopped her from boarding. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why Do Airline Dress Codes Still Exist?," 3 Nov. 2020 The teen closed the show in a sparkly pink halter top and orange miniskirt. Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, "Kate Moss’ daughter Lila, 18, makes runway debut at 'dreamiest' Paris Fashion Week show," 7 Oct. 2020

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

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Halter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halter. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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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 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

More from Merriam-Webster on halter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for halter

Nglish: Translation of halter for Spanish Speakers

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