from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. Nautical To secure or make fast (a rope, for example) by winding on a cleat or pin.
- transitive v. To secure (a mountain climber, for example) at the end of a length of rope.
- transitive v. To cause to stop.
- intransitive v. To be made secure.
- intransitive v. Used in the imperative as an order to stop: Belay there!
- n. The securing of a rope on a rock or other projection during mountain climbing.
- n. An object, such as a rock, to which a mountain climber's rope can be secured.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To surround; environ; inclose.
- v. To overlay; adorn.
- v. To besiege; invest; surround.
- v. To lie in wait for in order to attack; block up or obstruct.
- v. To make (a rope) fast by turning it round a fastening point such as a cleat or piton.
- v. To secure (a person) to a rope or (a rope) to a person.
- v. To lay aside; stop; cancel.
- v. The general command to stop or cease.
- v. To make a line fast by turns around a cleat, pin, or bitt.
- n. The securing of a rope to a rock or other projection.
- n. The object to which a rope is secured.
- n. A location at which a climber stops and builds an anchor with which to secure his/or her partner.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- transitive v. To lay on or cover; to adorn.
- transitive v. To make fast, as a rope, by taking several turns with it round a pin, cleat, or kevel.
- transitive v. To lie in wait for with a view to assault. Hence: to block up or obstruct.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To surround; environ; inclose.
- To overlay; adorn.
- To besiege; invest; surround.
- To lie in wait for in order to attack; hence, to block up or obstruct.
- Nautical, to fasten, or make fast, by winding round a belaying-pin, cleat, or cavel: applied chiefly to running rigging.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. fasten a boat to a bitt, pin, or cleat
- n. something to which a mountain climber's rope can be secured
- v. turn a rope round an object or person in order to secure it or him
Preferred primary anchor into a belay is a clove hitch or bite8 on the powerpoint - I prefer a clove for adjustability, sometimes using a purcell prusik as a second method to adjust my attitude to the anchor.
Yet quite often such words, when they are verbs, were once of the common stock of the language, as in the case of "belay," and it has happened that the sailor alone has been left to keep them alive.
In comes the rope with a "Yo! heave ho!" and a jerk, until the "belay" sung out by the mate signifies that the work is done.
Care was taken, however, this time to make fast the halliard rope with a proper "belay"; and although Snowball might have deserved a caution to be more vigilant for the future, it was not deemed necessary to administer it, as it was thought the peril out of which they had so miraculously escaped would prove to him a sufficient reminder.
We didn't get to use words like "belay" or "glissade" but we felt victorious just the same.
Come to think it, don't be sayin '"belay," either.
It was a hot mid-August afternoon two weeks into the trip and one of my three NOLS instructors, Bean Bowers -- bad-ass, wise-cracking and always over-caffeinated -- chose me to belay him while he climbed.
I refused, humiliated and ashamed that I even had the chutzpah to belay Bean, let alone allow him to fall on my watch.
But just to be on the safe side and belay any possible future arguments I have recently purchased a mobile home in a trailer park.
And there is the less obvious answer in that analogy of a belay team.