- a rope, cord, strap, etc., usually with a headstall, for tying or leading an animal
- a bitless headstall, with or without a lead rope
- a rope for hanging a person; hangman's noose
- execution by hanging
- a garment held up by a cord or loop around the neck and worn by women and girls to bare the shoulders, arms, and backalso called halter top
Origin of halterMiddle English from Old English hælftre (akin to German halfter) from base of helfe (see helve): basic sense “that by which something is held”
- to put a halter on (an animal); tie with a halter
- to hang (a person)
Origin of halterModern Latin from L, lead weights from Classical Greek halt?r, weight held (to give impetus) in leaping from hallesthai, to leap from Indo-European base an unverified form sel- from source Classical Latin salire
- A device made of rope or straps that fits around the head of an animal and is used to lead or secure the animal.
- Archaic a. A rope with a noose used for execution by hanging.b. Death or execution by hanging.
- A garment having a front supported by a strap or straps running behind the neck, leaving the arms, shoulders, and back bare.
transitive verbhal·tered, hal·ter·ing, hal·ters
- To put a halter on.
- To control with or as if with a halter.
- Archaic To hang (someone).
Origin of halterMiddle English from Old English hælftre
Origin of halterLatin haltēr lead weights used in leaping exercises from sing. of Greek haltēres from hallesthai to jump ; see sel- in Indo-European roots.
- A bitless headpiece of rope or straps, placed on the head of animals such as cattle or horses to lead or tie them.
- A rope with a noose, for hanging criminals; the gallows rope.
- A woman's garment covering the upper chest, a halter top.
(third-person singular simple present halters, present participle haltering, simple past and past participle haltered)
- To place a halter on.
- What do you mean, you didn't halter the horses when we stopped for the night?
From Middle English halter, helter, helfter, from Old English hælfter, hælftre (“halter”), from Proto-Germanic *halftrō, *halftrijaz (“harness”), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kel- (“to cut”), equivalent to half- + -ter. Cognate with Scots helter (“halter”), Dutch halfter, halster (“halter”), Low German halfter, helchter, halter (“halter”), German Halfter (“halter, holster”).