Etymology
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halyard (n.)

"rope for hoisting or lowering sails," 1620s, earlier halier (late 14c.), also in Middle English "a carrier, porter" (late 13c. in surnames), from halen "to haul" (see hale (v.)). Spelling influenced 17c. by yard (n.2) "long beam that supports a sail."

updated on May 13, 2015

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Definitions of halyard from WordNet

halyard (n.)
a rope for raising or lowering a sail or flag;
Synonyms: halliard
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.