When they had hoisted the unconscious Tom to the gaff, Swarth ordered: "belay, coil up the fall, and go forrard."
“belay that,” said Captain Miles, rousing up now and rubbing his eyes.
belay the starboard ram there, you salamander, and take a reef in the grating.
There now, old man, just belay all that, and let me finish my snooze.
A ring-bolt with two or more forelock-holes in it, occasionally to belay or make fast towards the middle.
None of the four that remained could do more than haul aft and belay a sheet.
“After that round turn, you may belay,” cried young Tom, laughing.
belay the binnacle and part the ship's periwig abaft the main-mast!
Well there with the throat-halliards; well with the peak; belay!
The Captain liked Bob because he was not "given to clatter," and "knew how to belay his jaw."
from Old English bilecgan, which, among other senses, meant "to lay a thing about" (with other objects), from be- + lecgan "to lay" (see lay (v.)). The only surviving sense is the nautical one of "coil a running rope round a cleat or pin to secure it" (also transferred to mountain-climbing), first attested 1540s; but this is possibly a cognate word, from Dutch beleggen.