hal·​yard | \ ˈhal-yərd How to pronounce halyard (audio) \

Definition of halyard

: a rope or tackle for hoisting and lowering something (such as sails)

Examples of halyard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And then to fall asleep to the summer sounds of the sea: a lullaby of waves lapping against rocky shores punctuated by the rhythmic tinkling of sailboat halyards. Walter Nicklin, Washington Post, "For a real taste of Midcoast Maine as it was — and should be — head to Damariscotta," 27 June 2019 When the rotund American commander, Gen. William Rufus Shafter, told him to take his hands off the halyard, the correspondent slugged him, or tried to (accounts vary). John Maxwell Hamilton, National Geographic, "In a battle for readers, two media barons sparked a war in the 1890s," 16 Apr. 2019 Even before dawn the marina is loud with gulls and banging halyards and happy obscenity. Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, "The Lionfish Have Invaded, But a Ragtag Army of Divers and Chefs Are Fighting Back," 23 May 2018 That means adding halyards as the flagpole ropes are called, hardware at the top and bottom and, finally, a golden ball at the very top. Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle, "Flagpole firm withstands winds of change," 7 Apr. 2018 Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown. Stefan Stevenson, star-telegram, "NFL Protest: 49ers unveil giant U.S.-shaped flag for anthem | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 22 Oct. 2017 Instead, the halyard should be a complete loop with the flag supported from it. • Popular Mechanics, "How to Fold an American Flag: Diagram," 14 June 2017 The others haul on what’s called the peak halyard, raising the end further from the mast. Brian J. Cantwell, The Seattle Times, "Taste some ales while you take a sail on classic schooner Zodiac on Bellingham Bay," 19 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'halyard.' 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 halyard

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for halyard

Middle English halier, probably from Anglo-French *halier, from haler to haul — more at hale

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about halyard

Dictionary Entries near halyard








Statistics for halyard

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for halyard

The first known use of halyard was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for halyard


hal·​yard | \ ˈhal-yərd How to pronounce halyard (audio) \

Kids Definition of halyard

: a rope for raising or lowering a sail

More from Merriam-Webster on halyard

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with halyard

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about halyard

Comments on halyard

What made you want to look up halyard? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!