Etymology
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belay (v.)

"to secure or fasten," from Old English belecgan, which, among other senses ("cover, invest, surround; afflict; accuse"), meant "to lay a thing about" (with other objects), from be- + lecgan "to lay" (from PIE root *legh- "to lie down, lay"). The only surviving sense is the nautical one of "coil a running rope round a cleat or pin to secure it" (also transferred to mountain-climbing), first attested 1540s; but this is possibly from Dutch cognate beleggen. Related: Belayed; belaying.

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Definitions of belay
1
belay (v.)
turn a rope round an object or person in order to secure it or him;
belay (v.)
fasten a boat to a bitt, pin, or cleat;
2
belay (n.)
something to which a mountain climber's rope can be secured;
From wordnet.princeton.edu