Definitions

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

  • n. Nautical A short rope or gasket used for fastening something or securing rigging.
  • n. A cord worn around the neck for carrying something, such as a knife or whistle.
  • n. A cord with a hook at one end used to fire a cannon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A short rope used for fastening rigging.
  • n. A cord used to hold a small object such as a key, whistle, card, or knife, worn around the neck or wrist: a form of necklace or wristband.
  • n. A cord with a hook; once used to fire artillery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A short piece of rope or line for fastening something in ships; ; esp., pieces passing through the dead-eyes, and used to extend shrouds, stays, etc.
  • n. A strong cord, about twelve feet long, with an iron hook at one end a handle at the other, used in firing cannon with a friction tube.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Nautical, a small rope or cord used for certain purposes on board a ship.
  • n. Milit., a piece of cord having a small hook at one end, nsed in firing cannon with a friction-primer.

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

  • n. a cord worn around the neck to hold a knife or whistle
  • n. a cord with an attached hook that is used to fire certain types of cannon
  • n. (nautical) a line used for extending or fastening rigging on ships

Etymologies

Perhaps alteration (influenced by yard1, spar) of Middle English lainere, strap, from Old French laniere, from lasne, perhaps alteration (influenced by las, string) of *nasle, lace, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English lanyer, from Middle French laniere, from Old French lasniere ("thong, lash"), from lasne ("strap, thong"), alteration of earlier nasliere ("thong, lash"), from nasle ("strap, thong"), from Frankish *nastila (“tie, headband”), from Proto-Germanic *nastilō (“tie, thread, strap”), from Proto-Indo-European *nedh- (“to tie together”). Cognate with Old High German nestila ("band, headband, strap"), Old English nosle, nostle ("band, brace, headband"), Old Norse nesta ("brace, strap, fastener"), German Nestel ("string, strap, lace"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  •  The only other passenger was a young woman who judging by her lanyard was a court employee.

    Scene at the Courthouse

  • The long cord that the boy in the last picture holds in his hand is called a lanyard; and as he pulls it with a smart jerk, a hammer falls on the breech of the gun, and with a roar that shakes the ship, the great gun is fired.

    Harper's Young People, February 24, 1880 An Illustrated Weekly

  • The lanyard was a significant find, but added weight to the suspicion surrounding Ms

    New Zealand Herald - Top Stories

  • The enclosure doesn't have any holes in it for a key chain or lanyard, which is a little odd for a USB drive.

    OCTools

  • Built into a clasp in the lanyard is a small (240+ megabytes) USB flash drive with all the papers on it.

    MSDN Blogs

  • In this way the lanyard was a lifeline to a soldier as it kept their pistols or swords within arm's reach when they were needed and out of the way when they were not.

    Article Source

  • The sharp bracket on the beam severed his safety harness, known as a lanyard, and the weight of the beam took him over the edge.

    News round-up

  • Luckily, I had a different one as a backup, one that has a kind of lanyard on it--made me look like a very dorky camp counselor, but it did the trick.

    Note to Self: Not those jeans

  • I learn to braid shiny plastic strands into something called a lanyard, I have no idea what it’s for.

    THE BOYS FROM SANTA CRUZ

  • Henke wears the conference attendee’s requisite name-tag lanyard, and he demonstrates the tool’s various features.

    Disquiet » The Organization Musician

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