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 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, "How to get super rich selling superyachts," 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, "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.

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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

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Time Traveler for halyard

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Halyard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/halyard. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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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

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