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An early-20th-century Congolese wristlet (sense 2) made of glass and ivory beads and an animal tooth[n 1]
A Swiss-made military-issue watch with a wristlet (sense 2) worn by a soldier during World War II[n 2]
A wristlet bag (sense 3) by the fashion house DKNY

wrist +‎ -let (suffix indicating a piece of an object).[1]



wristlet (plural wristlets)

  1. An elastic band worn to keep a glove from slipping off the wrist.
    • 1970 June 24, “Maintenance of Rocket Fuel Handlers’ Protective Clothing, Toxicological Agents Protective Clothing, Vesicant Gas Protective Clothing, and Explosive Handlers’ Coveralls”, in Organizational and Direct Support Maintenance Manual: General Repair Procedures for Clothing and Individual Equipment (Department of the Army Technical Manual; TM 10-8400-201-23), Washington, D.C.: Headquarters, Department of the Army, OCLC 8174580, section I (Introduction), paragraph 17-3 (Identification and Description), page 17-2:
      The full protection coveralls [] are made of cotton airplane cloth with an impermeable butyl-rubber coating and are issued in sizes medium, large and X-large. [] Each sleeve has a tapered plastic cone insert and a wristlet which rolls down over the gauntlet of the protective glove after the glove is in place.
  2. A decorative band or bracelet that encircles the wearer's wrist; especially, a closely knitted one to keep it warm; a muffetee.
    Synonym: wristband
    • 1816, John Sinclair, “Of Clothing”, in The Code of Health and Longevity; [], 3rd edition, London: Printed for the author, by B. M‘Millan, []; and to be had of G. and W. Nicol, []; and Messrs. Archibald Constable and Co. [], OCLC 18152193, part II, section 8 (Miscellaneous Articles), page 386:
      Wristlets are made of wool, and are of use in keeping the wrists comfortable in cold weather, and thereby preventing the rheumatism, and other complaints, arising from cold, particularly from the arms.
    • 1851 January, Augustus Summers, “Art. VII.—An Account of the Agate and Carnelian Trade of Cambay.”, in Journal of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, volume III, part II, number XIV, Bombay: American Mission Press; T. Graham, printer, OCLC 927021974, page 325:
      Articles for the Mocha, Djiddah, and Mecca markets are made out of the veined Agate from Rhanpore, Carnelians from Rattanpore, the Cat's eye, and Jet or Obsidian; these are worked into large quantities of rings both plain and ornamented, ring stones, wristlets, armlets and necklaces, embracing the following varieties:— [] Mutia Madaliyah composed of two stones, worn as an armlet or wristlet; Paitah, a wristlet composed of seven round flat stones; Ponchi, a wristlet composed of several flat stones; []
    • 1855, Mary M. Chase, “Letter XXXVII”, in Henry Fowler, editor, Mary M. Chase and Her Writings, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, OCLC 558164861, page 297:
      Dost thou like my wristlets, dearest? / Wilt thou be content to wear / Their slight bands whene'er thou fearest / Chilly winds and frosty air?
    • 1915 April, Elmina Atkinson, “Grey Gauntlet”, in The Bookman, volume XLVIII, number 283, London: Hodder and Stoughton [], OCLC 781608980, page 17, column 2:
      Grey Gauntlet, you of the wristlets wrought / Of home-spun soft and grey, / Do you hear the flashing needles click / Three thousand miles away?
    • 1921 October 17, “Derbyshire Executive. [A Gift to Mrs. Cutts.]”, in Mark Lane Express, Agricultural Journal & Live Stock Record: The Farmers’ Newspaper, volume 126, number 4699, London: Isaac Alger, OCLC 45433733, page 461, column 2:
      The Chairman added that the presentation to Mr. Cutts would not be complete without a gift for Mrs. Cutts, who had also shown considerable interest in the National Farmers' Union, and he had great pleasure in handing to her a gold wristlet watch, which was inscribed with her monogram.
    • 1953 December 4, Webster J. Oliver, Chief Judge, “Dale Products Corp. et al. v. United States (C.D. 1565)”, in United States Customs Court Reports: Cases Adjudged in the United States Customs Court, volume 31, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, OCLC 1768304, page 178:
      Counsel for the plaintiffs, in their brief, have cited cases wherein the merchandise consisted of wristlets or straps fitted with metal buckles and used for holding wrist watches.
  3. A small handbag with a short strap for attaching it to the wearer's wrist.
    • 2013 September 5, JoAnne Klimovich Harrop, “Small wristlets make big fashion statement”, in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review[1], Pittsburgh, Pa., archived from the original on 20 February 2019:
      Sliding a wristlet around your arm gives you the ability to talk on the phone, text, email, browse through clothing racks or hold your Starbucks coffee without having to worry about where your purse is. Leaving your hands free is what makes this micro purse more than just a fashion accessory. [] Women will stash a wristlet inside their everyday larger handbag or tote, and pull it out after work and take it for drinks or out to dinner so they don't have to carry a big bag with them, []
    • 2016 September 23, Alyssa Woo, “Wristlet a ‘perfect’ match”, in The Straits Times[2], Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings, OCLC 47722736, archived from the original on 20 February 2019:
      Of all the bags London-based stylist Harriet Byczok laid out before her [actress Maisie Williams], it was a black pyramid-shaped wristlet with a gold chain and tassle that caught her eye – a creation from Singapore brand Charles & Keith.
    • 2018, Morgan Jerkins, “Monkeys Like You”, in This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America, New York, N.Y.: Harper Perennial, →ISBN:
      [] I lost my Dooney & Bourke wristlet, which was a status symbol for white girls back in the midaughts, and I panicked. The wristlet contained both my wallet and cell phone, and I was sure that I would never see either one again.
  4. A handcuff.
    • 1859 December 16, James H. Noble, witness, Report of the Select Committee to which was Referred the Memorial of Dr. Saunders and Others, Asking for an Investigation into the Causes of the Death of Norris Tarbell, at the State Lunatic Asylum at Utica. [] (Assembly (State of New York); no. 43), Albany, N.Y.: Printed by C. Van Benthuysen, published 16 April 1860, OCLC 727303159, page 44:
      [H]e rushed at us; we grasped hold of him; I took right round him; Tennant took hold of his arms; we had not a great deal of a scuffle with him; he used all of his strength apparently, and I put forth all of my strength to overcome him; we put these wristlets on him, and the strap around his waist; the wristlets were ordered off; []
    • 1861 July and August, W[illiam] Carmichael McIntosh, “Notes on Asylums and the Insane in France and Belgium”, in The Journal of Mental Science, volume VIII, number 41, London: Longman, Green, Longman & Roberts, published April 1862, OCLC 780204204, page 12:
      Attached to each of these beds is a strong leathern strap, with a wristlet, for securing the arm of the patient at night. [] The scene in the dormitories for the paralytic and furious was distressing; camisoles, straps, wristlets, leg and ankle locks everywhere abounded.

Coordinate terms[edit]



  1. ^ From the Arts of Africa collection of the Brooklyn Museum in New York City, New York, USA.
  2. ^ From the collection of the Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira in Auckland, New Zealand.


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