AskDefine | Define lanyard

Dictionary Definition



1 a cord with an attached hook that is used to fire certain types of cannon [syn: laniard]
2 a cord worn around the neck to hold a knife or whistle [syn: laniard]
3 (nautical) a line used for extending or fastening rigging on ships [syn: laniard]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. a short rope used for fastening rigging
  2. a cord used to hold a small object such as a whistle or knife, worn around the neck or wrist: a form of necklace or wristband.
  3. a cord with a hook; once used to fire artillery


a short rope used for fastening rigging
a cord worn around the neck; used to hold a small object such as a whistle
Polish: smycz
a cord with a hook; once used to fire artillery

Extensive Definition

A lanyard, laniard, or wrist strap is a rope or cord often worn around the neck or wrist to carry something. Aboard ship, it may refer to a piece of rigging used to secure objects, or to a cord with a hook at the end which is used to fire a cannon.


Dragoons would use lanyards, usually called sword knots, to secure their sabres to the wrist, and thus allow the firing of carbine and pistol with the sabre out (hence the French term for lanyard, dragonne).
Pistol lanyards are designed to connect a pistol grip to a uniform on a semipermanent basis. A well made pistol lanyard can be easily removed and reattached by the user, but otherwise will stay connected to the pistol whether it is drawn or in a holster. A good pistol lanyard can be invaluable in an emergency, because it prevents the weapon from being dropped. In addition, some pistol lanyards are of a coiled design similar to telephone cord. These lanyards are intended to be less likely to snag on objects than an uncoiled lanyard type.


Lanyards of various colour combinations and braid patterns are also commonly worn on the shoulders of British and Commonwealth military uniforms to denote the wearer's qualification or regimental affiliation. Many regiments were originally mounted and the lanyard on the left, enabled the rider to pull a whistle from his left tunic pocket and maintain communication with the rest of his troop.
Simple lanyards made of braided fabric with a clip attached to the end are used frequently in retail and business situations for holding name badges. The typical arrangement is to attach a plastic pouch with at least one clear side to the lanyard, with the person's name badge facing the front and occasionally small items such as business cards, pens or tools stashed behind the badge for easy access. Such lanyards can also be used as keychains, particularly in situations where keys can easily be lost for lack of storage, such as gyms, public pools and communal showers.

Other uses

Lanyards are also widely used with small electronic devices. With increasing miniaturisation, many cameras, MP3 players and USB flash drives include lanyards, providing easy portability and insurance against loss or dropping. Electronics designed to take a lanyard usually have a small through-hole built into a corner or edge of the case or anchored to the frame of the device; the corresponding lanyard generally has a loop of thread on the end that is attached to that hole with a simple knot, usually a cow hitch. The Apple iPod nano headphones incorporate the audio signal into the lanyard, meaning it doubles up as headphone cords as well. Lifeguards typically use lanyards to accommodate their whistles. Lanyards are often used to keep keys on.
Urban high schools commonly have all of their students wear their ID cards around their necks on lanyards. Many public gatherings which uses badges or ID cards for access, such as conventions and trade fairs, allow their access passes to be worn on lanyards.
The Wii Remote uses a sort of lanyard, called a wrist strap, due to its nature to be swung around by the player.
Lanyard can also refer to Scoubidou, ( also called Gimp, Scoubi, Scoobie, Boondoggle, or Lanyard). It is a plaiting and knotting craft, originally aimed at children, which originated in France, where it became a fad in the late 1950s. Scoubidou-making is a popular pastime at summer camps for children, often employed to keep the children busy and occupied for hours.
Lanyards are usually attached to dead man's switches or "kill switches" on dangerous machinery, such as large industrial cutting/slicing machines, and also on vehicles, such as jet-skis or trains, so that if the operator suddenly becomes incapacitated, his fall will pull on the lanyard attached to his wrist, which will then pull the switch to immediately stop the machine or vehicle.
lanyard in German: Lanyard
lanyard in German: Portepee
lanyard in French: dragonne
lanyard in Dutch: Houwtouw
lanyard in Russian: Темляк
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