• synonyms


  1. 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).
  2. a cloth or leather shoe with elastic insertions at the sides.
  3. an overshoe with a fabric top.
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Origin of gaiter

1765–75; < French guêtre, Middle French guiestre, guestre, perhaps < Frankish *wrist, cognate with German Rist ankle, wrist. See wrist
Related formsgai·ter·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for gaiter

Historical Examples

  • The cord should be slack, and that will admit of the gaiter coming off.

    The Humbugs of the World

    P. T. Barnum

  • Turning the gaiter over in his dark hands, he meekly assented.

    Explorers of the Dawn

    Mazo de la Roche

  • He is nothing but a Russian corporal, occupied with a boot-heel and a gaiter button.

  • Mr. Thatcher rapped his gaiter and looked before him into the fire.

    Through Welsh Doorways

    Jeannette Augustus Marks

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

British Dictionary definitions for gaiter


noun (often plural)
  1. a cloth or leather covering for the leg or ankle buttoned on one side and usually strapped under the foot
  2. Also called: spat a similar covering extending from the ankle to the instep
  3. a waterproof covering for the ankle worn by climbers and walkers to prevent snow, mud, or gravel entering over the top of the boot
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Derived Formsgaiterless, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper