noun Date: 1626 1. a stay extending aft from a masthead 2. a strengthening or supporting device at the back (as of a carriage or a shoe)

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Backstay — Back stay (b[a^]k st[=a] ), n. [Back, a. or n. + stay.] 1. (Naut.) A rope or stay extending from the masthead to the side of a ship, slanting a little aft, to assist the shrouds in supporting the mast. [Often used in the plural.] [1913 Webster] 2 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backstay — [bak′stā΄] n. a stay extending aft from a masthead to the side or stern of a vessel …   English World dictionary

  • Backstay — On a sailing vessel, a backstay is the piece of standing rigging that runs from the mast to the transom of the boat, counteracting the forestay and jib. The backstay is an important sail trim control and has a direct effect on the shape of the… …   Wikipedia

  • backstay — backstay1 /bak stay /, n. 1. Mach. a supporting or checking piece in a mechanism. 2. Building Trades. an anchored tension member, as a cable, permanently or temporarily supporting a compression member, as a tower or pole, subject to a pull above… …   Universalium

  • backstay — noun A part of the rigging of a sailing ship extending from masthead the top of the mast to the back of the ship; they support the strain on all upper masts and provide additional support to the shrouds when the wind is abaft the beam …   Wiktionary

  • backstay — stay extending from ship s mastheads to the side of the ship Nautical Terms …   Phrontistery dictionary

  • backstay — n. rope or shroud extending from the top of a mast back to a ship s side or stern to help support the mast (Nautical); supporting device at or for the back of something (Machinery) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • backstay — noun a stay on a sailing ship leading downwards and aft from the upper part of a mast …   English new terms dictionary

  • backstay — I back•stay [[t]ˈbækˌsteɪ[/t]] n. navig. any of various shrouds that reinforce a ship s masts against forward pull • Etymology: 1620–30; back I+stay III II back•stay [[t]ˈbækˌsteɪ[/t]] n. 1) mac a supporting or checking piece in a mechanism 2)… …   From formal English to slang

  • backstay — /ˈbæksteɪ/ (say bakstay) noun 1. Machinery a supporting or checking piece in a mechanism. 2. Nautical a stay leading from a mast backwards …   Australian English dictionary

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