Definition of halyard in English:



  • A rope used for raising and lowering a sail, yard, or flag on a sailing ship.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the mast was not unstepped, sailboat owners should check the halyards.’


Late Middle English halier, from hale+ -ier. The change in the ending in the 18th century was due to association with yard.