The term "guy wire" is derived from the word "guy," which means a rope or wire used to guide or steady an object being hoisted or lowered into position. It comes from the Old French word "guier," meaning "to guide."
Guy wires are commonly used to secure a free-standing object, such as an antenna or a utility pole. Usually, one end of the line is attached near the top of the structure and the other is anchored to the ground. Added at regular intervals around the structure, guy wires provide added stability, particularly in high winds, helping to keep the structure from toppling over.