From Middle English beleggen, bileggen, from Old English belecgan (“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”).
- Rhymes: -eɪ
- (transitive, obsolete) To surround; environ; inclose.
- (transitive, obsolete) To overlay; adorn.
- (transitive, obsolete) To besiege; invest; surround.
- (transitive, obsolete) To lie in wait for in order to attack; block up or obstruct.
- (transitive) To make (a rope) fast by turning it round a fastening point such as a cleat or piton.
- (transitive) To secure (a person) to a rope or (a rope) to a person.
- He would need an experienced partner to belay him on the difficult climbs.
- (transitive) To lay aside; stop; cancel.
- I could only hope the remaining piton would belay his fall.
- Belay that order!
- (intransitive, nautical) The general command to stop or cease.
- (intransitive, nautical) To make a line fast by turns around a cleat, pin, or bitt.
belay (plural belays)