What does the word belay mean?

Usage examples for belay

  1. Somebody began praying, and somebody else told him to belay it, he was wasting oxygen. – Four-Day Planet by Henry Beam Piper
  2. I've-" " Two now, and two in the morning," continued the captain, quietly releasing one hand only to place two enormous pills in the mouth of the excited Catron, " thar now- a drink o' whisky- thar, that'll do- just enough to take the taste out of yer mouth, wash it down, and belay it, so to speak. – Drift from Two Shores by Bret Harte
  3. At a certain length from where the cable was to be made fast, a bit of marline had been tied, and when this came inboard the orders were to 'vast heaving, belay, and drop the anchor that had been only " hove short"; that is, lifted from the sand. – Yankee Ships and Yankee Sailors: Tales of 1812 by James Barnes