Definition of garter in US English:



  • 1A band worn around the leg to keep up a stocking or sock.

    • ‘The tall blonde lifted her skirts to reveal a small pistol fitted to her garter.’
    • ‘Not for nothing is Alastair clad in the finest cloth, his plaid trimmed in gold, his stockings tied with silk garters.’
    • ‘A wireless transmitter is strapped in a garter to my inner thigh and a video rig is micro-contained inside horn-rimmed glasses.’
    • ‘The stockings were held up with dark green garters at my knee.’
    • ‘Suave and a touch oily, the magician, all in black with a red-lined cape and red cummerbund, passes his hoop around a young woman in a black corset, garters and stockings who levitates within a shaft of light.’
    • ‘Sheridan said: ‘This is the 21st century and we have got people running about in garters and tights and that just doesn't fit with the modern world.’
    • ‘You can eat in a lovely little garden lit by fairy lights; the food's served by Thai waitresses, who wear long silk skirts but have pistols in their garters.’
    • ‘Do not wear stretch socks, nylon socks, socks with an elastic band or garter at the top, or socks with inside seams.’
    • ‘Common gifts were jewels, gloves, silk stockings, flowers, garters, handkerchiefs, and paperweights.’
    • ‘To complement all of this, Cinders carries a wonderful range of accessories, shoes, veils, tiaras, feathers, stockings and garters.’
    • ‘I'm also wearing a blue garter around my left thigh.’
    1. 1.1 A band worn on the arm to keep a shirtsleeve up.
      • ‘He had a handle bar mustache and still wore garters on his sleeves.’
    2. 1.2North American A suspender for a sock or stocking.
      • ‘Underneath the skirt were two garters that were attached to a lace band around each leg, and she wore two gold bands similar to the ones she wore now, only more ornate, on her wrists.’
      • ‘Olivia could only laugh as she hooked her stockings onto the garters.’
      • ‘Then they rolled up the thigh high stockings and connected them to the garters.’
      • ‘She wore cream colored stockings held up with garters from her corset.’
      • ‘In the practice room, Kirby had changed into a satin corset with garters that held up ivory stockings.’
  • 2

    1. 2.1 The badge or membership of the Order of the Garter.
      • ‘It seems most unlikely, therefore, that he would have chosen not to include the Garter had he been entitled to it when the plates were commissioned, and its absence is perhaps explained by the length of time it took to complete them.’
      • ‘Calamity promises the patrons of the Garter that she will personally bring Miss Adams back from Chicago to South Dakota.’
      • ‘Under Edward IV no fewer than eight foreign sovereigns came in this way to be admitted to the Garter, including Charles ‘the Bold’ of Burgundy and Ferdinand of Spain.’
      • ‘It must postdate Sir Thomas's award of the Garter in 1503, and the use of renaissance ornament in English glass occurs from about 1515 onwards.’
      • ‘St. George's Chapel is associated with the Order, not least as it is where the Garter service is held each year.’
      • ‘She turned to see him standing there looking quite dashing in a tuxedo with a blue garter over the vest and some medals on the left side of the lapel.’
      • ‘In the political climate of the time, the Garter carried more than usual significance, since it was deliberately deployed to support the legitimacy of the Hanoverian succession.’
      • ‘The new appointments follow the deaths of the Queen Mother, the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Hailsham and Lord Longford, who were all members of the Garter.’
      • ‘Being museum types, it was a plastic file with photocopies, but as a memorial to achievement, it meant more than the Garter or a peerage or a letterhead of doctorates.’
      • ‘The Knights and Ladies of the Garter were dressed in dark blue velvet robes adorned with the garter, star and collar, red velvet hoods, worn on the right shoulder, and black velvet bonnets topped with swaying ostrich plumes.’
      • ‘He acquired from Burgundy copies of works of conquest such as a Life of Julius Caesar displaying his collar of the Golden Fleece and the Garter to emphasise that the Fleece or the philosopher's stone was his regained kingdom.’
      • ‘He sat on his bed, still wearing his Garter, Order of Merit and knee-breeches.’


Middle English: from Old French gartier, from garet ‘bend of the knee, calf of the leg’, probably of Celtic origin.