from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A rope or shroud extending from the top of a mast aft to a ship's side or stern to help support the mast.
- noun A supporting device at or for the back of something else.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun In printing, a strap of leather used to check the carriage of a printing-press.
- noun In coal-mining, a forked bar of wrought-iron attached to the back of the mine-car when ascending an inclined plane, for the purpose of stopping the car in case of accident.
- noun A rod extending from the perch to the outer end of the rear axle of a carriage.
- noun One of the flaps of a carriage-top.
- noun In purchase-shears, a powerful spring placed at the back of the moving blade to keep the two cutting edges in contact.
- noun In metal-turning, an adjustable support for any very long or slender article.
- noun pl. Naut., long ropes extending backward from the heads of all masts above the lower mast and fastened on each side of the ship to the chain-plates, serving to support the masts.
- noun In mining, an inclined strut or brace of a shaft-head frame, designed to resist the pull of the hoisting-engine.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun (Naut.), Often used in the plural. A rope or stay extending from the masthead to the side of a ship, slanting a little aft, to assist the shrouds in supporting the mast.
- noun A rope or strap used to prevent excessive forward motion.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun nautical A part of the
riggingof a sailing shipextending from mastheadthe top of the mast to the back of the ship; they supportthe strainon all upper masts and provide additional support to the shroudswhen the windis abaftthe beam.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun a stay that supports the back of something
Sorry, no etymologies found.
What the "backstay" is to the inhabitant of the district around Lydd, the stilts are to the lonely dwellers in the Landes.
Oh, he's a pearl of purest ray serene, if anybody should slide down a backstay and ask you.
One hand on the backstay, one foot on the stern rail, I hopped aboard and felt that familiar rush of anything-is-possible.
It snapped out from the maintopgallant backstay, a long, shot-torn streamer of sable without device.
Once I cleared the backstay, I surfaced, and I was right next to Steve.
The man overboard pole was secured to the backstay with Velcro and is likely to remain in place.
The man got out by the royal backstay, and lit his flare.
Abruptly, as he fired his last shot, I was aware of an indistinct Something, gliding down the starboard royal backstay.
Out on the crosstrees, I could see, by the light from my lantern, that Plummer was holding in a dazed fashion to the backstay.
November 7th, 2009 at 11: 42 pm PST techcrunch. com halla backstay cool f life. reply