Definitions

from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Nautical A rope used to raise or lower a sail, flag, or yard.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rope used to raise or lower a sail, flag, spar or yard.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A rope or tackle for hoisting or lowering yards, sails, flags, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, a rope or purchase used to hoist or lower yards or sails on their respective masts or stays. All yards have halyards except the lower yards and lower topsail-yards.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a rope for raising or lowering a sail or flag

Etymologies

Alteration (influenced by yard1) of Middle English halier, from halen, to pull; see hale2.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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