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[gey-ter] /ˈgeɪ tər/
a covering of cloth or leather for the ankle and instep and sometimes also the lower leg, worn over the shoe or boot.
Compare upper1 (def 7).
a cloth or leather shoe with elastic insertions at the sides.
an overshoe with a fabric top.
Origin of gaiter
1765-75; < French guêtre, Middle French guiestre, guestre, perhaps < Frankish *wrist, cognate with German Rist ankle, wrist. See wrist
Related forms
gaiterless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for gaiter
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Thatcher rapped his gaiter and looked before him into the fire.

    Through Welsh Doorways Jeannette Augustus Marks
  • He is nothing but a Russian corporal, occupied with a boot-heel and a gaiter button.

  • It is not difficult to do, however, if a cord has been attached to the strap of the gaiter and tied to the leg above the calf.

  • Miss Adams stood tapping the toe of her gaiter with her riding whip.

    Bessie at the Sea-Side Joanna Mathews
  • They crept and crept, the hem of her petticoat just touching his gaiter, and his elbow sometimes brushing hers.

  • Her gaiter boots were saturated with wet, and soiled with reddish clay.

    Mabel's Mistake Ann S. Stephens
  • The cord should be slack, and that will admit of the gaiter coming off.

  • The gaiter secured, we prepared to lift the sufferer from his seat, and he on his part made a feeble effort to rise.

  • Five decades hardly modified the cut of a gaiter, the embroidery of a smock-frock, by the breadth of a hair.

  • Dennis had the gaiter undone in a moment, and Bob writhed as his brother felt the injured limb.

British Dictionary definitions for gaiter


noun (often pl)
a cloth or leather covering for the leg or ankle buttoned on one side and usually strapped under the foot
Also called spat. a similar covering extending from the ankle to the instep
a waterproof covering for the ankle worn by climbers and walkers to prevent snow, mud, or gravel entering over the top of the boot
Derived Forms
gaiterless, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French guêtre, probably of Germanic origin and related to wrist
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for gaiter

"leather cover for the ankle," 1775, perhaps from French guêtre "belonging to peasant attire," from Middle French *guestre, probably from Frankish *wrist "instep," from Proto-Germanic *wirstiz (cf. German Rist "instep;" see wrist). Related: Gaiters.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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