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Meaning of Backtay

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  • (nautical) A part of the rigging of a sailing ship extending from each masthead above the lower mast to both sides 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.
- The Nuttall Encyclopedia

Back"stay` (-stā`), 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.]

2. A rope or strap used to prevent excessive forward motion.

- Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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The correct spelling of this word ought to be: Backstay

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