follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

backstay1

[bak-stey] /ˈbækˌsteɪ/
noun
1.
Machinery. a supporting or checking piece in a mechanism.
2.
Building Trades. an anchored tension member, as a cable, permanently or temporarily supporting a compression member, as a tower or pole, subject to a pull above its base from the opposite direction.
3.
a strip of leather at the back of a shoe used for reinforcement and sometimes to connect the quarters.
Origin
1860-1865
1860-65; back1 + stay2

backstay2

[bak-stey] /ˈbækˌsteɪ/
noun
1.
Nautical. any of various shrouds forming part of a vessel's standing rigging and leading aft from masts above a lower mast to the sides or stern of the vessel in order to reinforce the masts against forward pull.
Origin
1620-30; back1 + stay3
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for back stay's

backstay

/ˈbækˌsteɪ/
noun
1.
(nautical) a stay leading aft from the upper part of a mast to the deck or stern
2.
(machinery) a supporting piece or arresting part
3.
anything that supports or strengthens the back of something, such as leather covering the back seam of a shoe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for backstay

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for back

12
14
Scrabble Words With Friends