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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for holstered

Contemporary Examples of holstered

Historical Examples of holstered

  • Both hands leaped downward for the holstered pistols in his belt.

    The Space Rover

    Edwin K. Sloat

  • His right hand now rested on his thigh near the holstered gun.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • Duomart holstered the gun and attached the holster to her belt.

    The Star Hyacinths

    James H. Schmitz

  • I holstered my pistol, pushed past Joyce, and trotted for the lift.


    John Keith Laumer

  • He took his own, reloaded, from Armand and holstered it, hoping no one could see his tremor.


    Robert Shea

British Dictionary definitions for holstered



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 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 holstered



"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