- a broad belt worn over the shoulder by soldiers and having a number of small loops or pockets, for holding a cartridge or cartridges.
- a soldier’s broad shoulder belt having small pockets or loops for cartridges
1570s, “shoulder belt (for a wallet),” from French bandouiliere (16c.), from Italian bandoliera or Spanish bandolera, from diminutive of banda “a scarf, sash,” a Germanic loan-word related to Gothic bandwa (see band (n.2)). In some cases, directly from Spanish to English as bandoleer. Meaning “ammunition belt for a musket” is from 1590s; hence bandolero “highwayman, robber” (1832), from Spanish, literally “man who wears a bandoleer.”