gar·​ter | \ ˈgär-tər How to pronounce garter (audio) \

Definition of garter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a band worn to hold up a stocking or sock
b : a band worn to hold up a shirt sleeve
c : a strap hanging from a girdle or corset to support a stocking
2 capitalized
a : the British Order of the Garter also : the blue velvet garter that is its badge
b : membership in the order


gartered; gartering; garters

Definition of garter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to support with or as if with a garter

Examples of garter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Not Sorry collection and a black bralette-and-garter set, which, in a move that couldn’t be more on-trend for 2020, is adorned with pearls. Eliza Huber,, "Megan Thee Stallion Dons Pearl Lingerie For Savage X Fenty’s Holiday Campaign," 31 Oct. 2020 Like most Texas snakes, checkered garter snakes are nonvenomous. René A. Guzman,, "Checkered garter snake a gentle, gorgeous snake that’s common in San Antonio," 30 Sep. 2020 The research, published last month in the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, looked at the behavior of 40 garter snakes—30 of them wild-caught, 10 captive-bred. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Cold-Blooded, but Not Cold-Hearted, Garter Snakes Form Friendships," 18 May 2020 Sunflowers, honeybees, cotton fluff, and magnolias, all dancing in southern breezes next to Sir-Sir garter snakes with big teeth, playing ring-around-the-rosy with Jim Crow, and cackling. Seija Rankin,, "Read an excerpt from Loretta Little Looks Back, a new middle-grade novel about black suffrage," 17 June 2020 The cover features a garter-stitch balaclava paired with a Chernobyl-era military-grade gas mask. Alexandra Marvar, New York Times, "Knitting for the Apocalypse," 8 May 2020 The 24-year-old was also reportedly wearing only lace garters and had stab wounds on her cheek and chest areas. Fox News, "Russian Instagram influencer found dead with stab wounds stuffed in suitcase at her own Moscow apartment," 30 July 2019 That superstition was replaced with the garter belt toss. Alix Strauss, New York Times, "5 Wedding Traditions You Can Skip," 12 Mar. 2020 The trash buried under a patio during Clemens’s residency included clips from women’s corsets and garters. John Kelly, Washington Post, "From cross-dressers to coaches, the D.C. History Conference will have it all," 18 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'garter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of garter


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for garter


Middle English, from Anglo-French gareter, from garet thigh, shank, of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh gar shank

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Time Traveler for garter

Time Traveler

The first known use of garter was in the 14th century

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Statistics for garter

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Garter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2020.

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How to pronounce garter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of garter

: an elastic band of material that is worn around the leg to hold up a stocking or sock
US : a piece of material that hangs down from a woman's underwear and that is used to hold up a stocking


gar·​ter | \ ˈgär-tər How to pronounce garter (audio) \

Kids Definition of garter

: a band worn to hold up a stocking or sock

More from Merriam-Webster on garter

Nglish: Translation of garter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of garter for Arabic Speakers

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