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belay

[bih-ley] /bɪˈleɪ/
verb (used with object), belayed, belaying.
1.
Nautical. to fasten (a rope) by winding around a pin or short rod inserted in a holder so that both ends of the rod are clear.
2.
Mountain Climbing.
  1. to secure (a person) by attaching to one end of a rope.
  2. to secure (a rope) by attaching to a person or to an object offering stable support.
3.
  1. to cease (an action); stop.
  2. to ignore (an announcement, order, etc.):
    Belay that, the meeting will be at 0900 instead of 0800.
verb (used without object), belayed, belaying.
4.
to belay a rope:
Belay on that cleat over there.
noun
5.
Mountain Climbing. a rock, bush, or other object sturdy enough for a running rope to be passed around it to secure a hold.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English beleggen, Old English belecgan. See be-, lay1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for belay
  • IN rock climbing, the belay rope is your umbilical cord.
  • In your hand is an ice hammer, and a piton or ice screw for securing a belay rope to the top.
  • belay that dream: a laydown date is the day that a book officially goes on sale.
  • The rope had either broken in the fall, or when his partner tried to belay him over a rock edge.
British Dictionary definitions for belay

belay

/bɪˈleɪ/
verb -lays, -laying, -layed
1.
(nautical) to make fast (a line) by securing to a pin, cleat, or bitt
2.
(usually imperative) (nautical) to stop; cease
3.
(mountaineering) (ˈbiːˌleɪ). to secure (a climber) to a mountain by tying the rope off round a rock spike, piton, nut, etc
noun
4.
(mountaineering) (ˈbiːˌleɪ). the attachment (of a climber) to a mountain by tying the rope off round a rock spike, piton, nut, etc, to safeguard the party in the event of a fall See also running belay
Word Origin
Old English belecgan; related to Old High German bileggen, Dutch beleggen
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
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Word Origin and History for belay
v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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