One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A rope used for raising and lowering a sail, yard, or flag on a sailing ship.
- ‘If the mast was not unstepped, sailboat owners should check the halyards.’
- ‘All halyards and sail controls are led aft to the cockpit concealed under fiberglass panels so that there is nothing to foul or trip over.’
- ‘All stays, halyards and standing rigging are adjustable with tiny turubuckles, and four AA batteries power the servos and eight batteries run the hand control unit.’
- ‘On those boats that have internal halyards, all halyards (except, again, the main) should be disconnected from the deck and hauled through until the shackles are two-blocked at the masthead.’
- ‘At daybreak, I found Jonathan hopping around the deck with halyards and ropes.’
Late Middle English halier, from hale + -ier. The change in the ending in the 18th century was due to association with yard.
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