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Definition belay

Etymology

From Middle English beleggen, bileggen, from Old English beleċġan (“to cover, invest, surround, afflict, attribute to, charge with, accuse”), equivalent to be- +‎ lay. Cognate with Dutch beleggen (“to cover, overlay, belay”), German belegen (“to cover, occupy, belay”), Swedish belägga (“to pave”).

Verb

belay (third-person singular simple present belays, present participle belaying, simple past and past participle belayed or belaid)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To surround; environ; enclose.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To overlay; adorn.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To besiege; invest; surround.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To lie in wait for in order to attack; block up or obstruct.
  5. (nautical, transitive, intransitive) To make (a rope) fast by turning it around a fastening point such as a cleat or piton.
  6. (transitive) To secure (a person) to a rope or (a rope) to a person.
  7. (transitive) To lay aside; stop; cancel.
  8. (intransitive, nautical) The general command to stop or cease.

Noun

belay (plural belays)

  1. (climbing) The securing of a rope to a rock or other projection.
  2. (climbing) The object to which a rope is secured.
  3. (climbing) A location at which a climber stops and builds an anchor with which to secure their partner.

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