Definition of halter in US English:



  • 1A rope or strap with a noose or headstall placed around the head of a horse or other animal, used for leading or tethering it.

    • ‘Three months later, his burros, a bridle and halter, and candy wrappers were found in Davis Gulch, an offshoot of Escalante Canyon.’
    • ‘A second call for the clowns allowed Chris to strip the horse down to just a halter and a lead rope and mount bareback.’
    • ‘They start at opposite ends of the line and throw a halter over each animal's head.’
    • ‘You can donate towels, blankets, lead ropes, halters, feed, hay, veterinary equipment, vehicles and trailers.’
    • ‘She would also follow him around without a lead line or halter.’
    • ‘Place the chain over the horse's nose and up the opposite of the halter to keep the halter from slipping around as you work.’
    • ‘Holding on to the halter around the neck of the cow as he tried to settle the riled up animal, was David, with two puffing dogs at his heels.’
    • ‘For over 15 years he made saddlebags, chaps, halters and such and then decided at the age of 51 to try his hand at saddle making.’
    • ‘Gently, she moved Matrix's halter from his head to around his neck so that she would have control even without the bridle on.’
    • ‘If I think a horse is going to run so much that he's going to be hard to catch, I may leave the lead rope hooked to his halter.’
    • ‘By pulling on the halter, all your horse can do is run around you in a circle.’
    • ‘Much of the program is taught to the human and the horse using a rope halter and rope hackamore.’
    • ‘The whole world needs to get a look at items such as her hand tooled bronc halters and her embellished denim garments.’
    • ‘Ty grabbed MeadowLark's halter and tugged on it.’
    • ‘The soldiers ride bays or chestnuts and use United States Army regulation saddles, saddlecloths, halters, bridles, and curb bits.’
    • ‘If you don't use trail bridles, bring a halter and lead rope.’
    • ‘Bob calmly grabbed the stallion's halter, led him into the corner of the stall, placed a twitch around his nose and proceeded to treat him.’
    • ‘Did they turn the horse out safely or did they remove the halter and slap the horse on the rump?’
    • ‘It also includes used animal trappings such as harnesses, saddles, halters, reins, rope and chain.’
    • ‘Then, when he puts a halter on the horse, he quickly points out to the crowd that if the horse really takes off, any control would be lost in an instant!’
    harness, head collar, bridle
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic A rope with a noose for hanging a person.
      • ‘For which other worse tricks he had not (Archer would not have) escaped the halter (noose), but that (had not) Captain Newport interposed his advice to the contrary – that is that the council should not hang Mr. Archer.’
      • ‘And there, made ready for death, with the halter round her neck, she stood upon the fatal ladder in calm serenity, expecting to die.’
  • 2usually as modifier A strap by which the bodice of a sleeveless dress or top is fastened or held behind at the neck, leaving the shoulders and back bare.

    as modifier ‘tourists in halter tops and shorts’
    • ‘She looked very attractive in red wine dress with halter top.’
    • ‘She had gone out and bought a sparkling silver halter dress, with a plunging neckline and low-cut back.’
    • ‘Shelli Segal has created a backless, pink polka-dot dress with a halter top for her Laundry collection that just begs an invitation to the captain's table.’
    • ‘Zassa was in a short, flouncy halter dress in blinding white that she'd bought.’
    • ‘Diane Medak's pink halter dress is perfect for summer evenings and even carries into fall.’
    • ‘Who can deny the beauty of Liya in a silk chiffon halter evening dress?’
    • ‘The girls looked like they were freezing in their halter tops and reckless skirts but were probably blindly sensibly insulated from it all by means of a dozen Bacardi Breezers.’
    • ‘A jacket or cape moved from its original use and buttoned on the hips becomes a skirt, a scarf become a belt, a sarong a halter top.’
    • ‘Most of the selection I saw was of the backless sort which tied like a halter top around the neck.’
    • ‘The subtly striped halter dress is by Nina Ricci and the crocheted one is by Forever 21.’
    • ‘The teenager wore a knee length, blood red, halter dress with a low and dipping neck line.’
    • ‘She was wearing a short, thin halter dress that exposed her delicate shoulders and the vaguely tanned skin of her back.’
    • ‘His current winter collection features slouch pants, lustrous shirt dresses, halter tops and knee-length dirndl skirts in a predominantly black, white and camel palette.’
    • ‘They slipped on their halter tops (midriffs exposed, of course), some not so sensible shoes and a dab of glitter makeup around the eyes.’
    • ‘Karina Savarese took deconstruction to new heights as far as Pasarela Gaudí was concerned, though her halter wedding dress was less extreme.’
    • ‘Gowns with halter tops, pouf satin or silk skirts or ripped hems are right in keeping with the rock princess look.’
    • ‘She must create quite a stir at the office - not only is she physically very attractive, but she was wearing a very short miniskirt and a halter top that exposed her midsection.’
    • ‘The coppered colored slinky halter dress had a sequined trim with a ruched waist.’
    • ‘I would still wear my halter tops to social gatherings.’
    • ‘Jessica dressed in a red halter top, white fitted capris, and white flip flops.’


[with object]
  • 1Put a halter on (an animal).

    • ‘Briefly, foals were quietly caught, haltered, and held still while being handled for 10 min.’
    • ‘When they are all haltered, they pass along, tying one to the other until the whole line is thus fastened.’
    • ‘He was haltered by his current trainer, Leah Gyarmati, for $35,000 at Aqueduct in his last start in 1999, and is 2-2 - 0 in five starts this year with earnings of $89,720.’
    • ‘Holding back her slight fear, she went to his left side and slowly haltered him.’
    • ‘In silence and in darkness they loaded the carriage and haltered the horses.’
    • ‘When a new heifer comes in to milk, we halter and tie her tight to one of the large, heavy U-bolts cemented against the wall in our tie stall barn.’
    • ‘She haltered the strangely docile stallion and tied him up in the tie racks, next to an extremely irritable paint gelding being groomed.’
    • ‘Rebecca cast Ansley a hurt look, but Ansley was haltering Matrix and didn't catch it.’
    • ‘Trainer Bob Hess Jr. haltered the five-year-old Knight Skiing gelding for himself and a partner for $32,000 in Wednesday's fourth race, a 1 1/16-mile event.’
    • ‘The mare should be haltered and facing the foal during this process.’
    • ‘Aguirre haltered Asong for Billy for owner Wongs Stable after a fourth-place finish in his second career start at the Inglewood, California, track on July 4.’
    • ‘Deran sighed and started tacking up two horses, leaving another one haltered for use as a pack animal.’
    1. 1.1archaic Hang (someone).
      • ‘The man was speedily placed on the cathead and haltered.’
      • ‘They were suffered to have rope enough till they had haltered themselves.’


Old English hælftre, of Germanic origin, meaning ‘something to hold things by’; related to German Halfter, also to helve.