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[hohl-ster] /ˈhoʊl stər/
a sheathlike carrying case for a firearm, attached to a belt, shoulder sling, or saddle.
verb (used with object)
to put or put back in a holster:
to holster a gun.
Origin of holster
1655-65; < Dutch; cognate with Gothic hulistr, Old Norse hulstr sheath; akin to Old English helan to hide Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for holster
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then he turned the muzzle aside, and uncocking the pistol, replaced it in its holster.

  • For the gun Andy had his Colt in the holster, and he knew it like his own mind.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • He was flat on his face again when suddenly he felt his automatic jerked from its holster and she sprang to her feet.

  • Thinking of this, he produced it from the holster with a flick of his fingers.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • "I do see, and you are right," said Marcel, as he replaced his weapon in its holster.

    In Hostile Red Joseph Altsheler
  • How'll they know that it was luck—that my gun stuck in the holster—and that you jumped me on the draw?

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
British Dictionary definitions for holster


a sheathlike leather case for a pistol, attached to a belt or saddle
(mountaineering) a similar case for an ice axe or piton hammer
Derived Forms
holstered, adjective
Word Origin
C17: via Dutch holster from Germanic; compare Old Norse hulstr sheath, Old English heolstor darkness, Gothic hulistr cover
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 holster

"leather case for a pistol," 1660s, probably from Old English heolster, earlier helustr "concealment, hiding place," from Proto-Germanic *hulfti- (cf. Old High German hulft "cover, case, sheath," Old Norse hulstr "case, sheath," Middle Dutch holster, German Holfster "holster"), from PIE *kel- "to cover, to hide" (see cell). Intermediate forms are wanting, and the modern word could as well be from the Norse or Dutch cognates.


by 1902, from holster (n.). Related: Holstered; holstering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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