hal·​yard ˈhal-yərd How to pronounce halyard (audio)
: a rope or tackle for hoisting and lowering something (such as sails)

Examples of halyard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Advertising signs should not be attached to the flag's staff or halyard (the rope used to hoist the flag). Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2023 The setup can be inflated or deflated as needed and reportedly eliminates the need for any complex deck equipment (winches, halyards, etc.). Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 26 June 2023 City lights twinkled; only the clinking of the flag’s metal halyard against the flagpole broke the silence. Marcus Yam, Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2021 Floating in Port Hercules the other week — ensigns fluttering, halyards singing — was one of the most spectacular displays of seagoing craft ever seen: 125 superyachts with a combined value of $4.4 billion. Benjamin Stupplesbloomberg, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2019 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, 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, 16 Apr. 2019 Even before dawn the marina is loud with gulls and banging halyards and happy obscenity. Ben Lowy, Smithsonian, 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, 7 Apr. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'halyard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near halyard

Cite this Entry

“Halyard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halyard. Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hal·​yard ˈhal-yərd How to pronounce halyard (audio)
: a rope or tackle for raising and lowering (as a sail)

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