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[hal-yerd] /ˈhæl yərd/
any of various lines or tackles for hoisting a spar, sail, flag, etc., into position for use.
Origin of halyard
1325-75; Middle English halier rope to haul with (see hale2, -ier1) with final syllable altered by association with yard1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for halyard
  • Above, a flag flapped, a halyard rang against the invisible pole.
  • Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown.
  • The other, the throat halyard, is used to raise or lower the jaws of the gaff.
British Dictionary definitions for halyard


(nautical) a line for hoisting or lowering a sail, flag, or spar
Word Origin
C14: halier, influenced by yard1; see hale²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for halyard

"rope for hoisting sails," 1610s, from Middle English halier "a halyard" (late 14c.), also "a carrier, porter" (late 13c. in surnames), from halen "to haul" (see hale (v.)). Spelling influenced by yard "long beam that supports a sail" (see yard (n.2)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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