• synonyms


  1. a sheathlike carrying case for a firearm, attached to a belt, shoulder sling, or saddle.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to put or put back in a holster: to holster a gun.
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Origin of holster

1655–65; < Dutch; cognate with Gothic hulistr, Old Norse hulstr sheath; akin to Old English helan to hide
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for holster

Contemporary Examples of holster

Historical Examples of holster

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

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

  • Then his right arm loosened, and the hand flashed down to his holster.

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

  • The Federal's pistol slid into its holster and his sabre flashed out.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

British Dictionary definitions for holster


  1. a sheathlike leather case for a pistol, attached to a belt or saddle
  2. mountaineering a similar case for an ice axe or piton hammer
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Derived Formsholstered, adjective

Word Origin for holster

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

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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper