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 Comer donned a white halter-neck evening gown from Tom Ford with long sleeves, channeling Marilyn Monroe for her Emmys debut. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: 'Killing Eve' Ladies Show Softer Side on the Red Carpet," 23 Sep. 2019 The eye-catching look, from the label's Resort 2020 collection, featured a chain halter neck and ultra-high leg slit. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Goes Bold in a Bright Yellow Leopard Versace Dress," 6 Sep. 2019 The only character development occurs when Turner-Smith shaves her stereotypical dreadlocks for an androgynous henna crew-cut and wears a form-fitting tiger-striped halter and snakeskin boots, and Kaluuya dons a ’90s jogging suit. Armond White, National Review, "Queen & Slim, a Meme Movie for Black Lives Matter Fans," 27 Nov. 2019 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

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

19 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Halter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halter. Accessed 29 Feb. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for halter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with halter

Spanish Central: Translation of halter

Nglish: Translation of halter for Spanish Speakers

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