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

The gown in question—that beautiful white silk halter neck—ended up gaining just as much adoration and attention as Meghan’s original Givenchy ceremony dress. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Stella McCartney Talks Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress and The Friendship They Built," 8 Aug. 2018 Jake wasn't bummed out for long, though — Inside Edition set him up with fellow Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Nina Agdal, who wore a pretty, sea foam halter gown for the occasion. 5. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Epic Celebrity Promposals You Need to See Now," 11 Apr. 2019 Onlookers first got a glimpse of the rock on the red carpet where the The Weight of These Wings singer wore a neon green sequined halter dress with dangling gemstone earrings. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Miranda Lambert Flaunted Her New Wedding Ring at the ACMs and We're Obsessed," 9 Apr. 2019 For the occasion, Priyanka stunned in a sparkling black halter gown by Elie Saab. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Attend the Oscars Party Where They First Met," 25 Feb. 2019 Getty Images Getty Images Getty Images Aside from the butt cheek and thigh muscles going on here, Kendall’s statement black dress featured a plunging, halter neck cut-out up front, an amazing cut-out back, and ombre shaded detail at the waist. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Kendall Jenner's Oscars After Party Dress Was Nearly-Naked From the Waist Down," 25 Feb. 2019 So, why isn't Meghan giving up her white halter gown? Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Why Meghan Markle's Second Wedding Dress Won't Be On Display for the Public," 30 Aug. 2018 Meghan's sequined black halter, leather skirt, blue and white sundress, and even her wedding veil were all reminiscent of the late royal's style. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Channeled One of Princess Diana's Most Famous Outfits," 15 Jan. 2019 And fellow catwalker Adesuwa Aighewi, strolling hand in hand with a friend, still bore a few shining traces of the metallic graffiti makeup that punctuated the designer’s graphic runway halter. Vogue, "The Best Street Style Beauty at London Fashion Week," 18 Sep. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about halter

Dictionary Entries near halter








Statistics for halter

Last Updated

28 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for halter

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!