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.

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

“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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