Rafael Nadal wearing yellow wrist bands during a tennis match.
A white terrycloth wristband on an arm, next to a blue silicone wristband.

Wristbands are encircling strips worn on the wrist, made from a variety of materials depending on the purpose. The term can be used to refer to the bracelet-like band of a wristwatch, to the cuff or other part of a sleeve that covers the wrist, or to decorative or functional bands worn on the wrist for other reasons, such as lanyards.

One type of wristband is also known as a sweatband, and is usually made of a towel-like terrycloth material. These are usually used to wipe sweat from the forehead during sport, or as a badge or fashion statement. A practice common in mid-eighties punk subculture was to cut the top off of a sock and fashion the elastic into this type of wristband.

Another common type of wristband is the loops of plastic that are placed around the wrist for identification purposes (demonstrating the wearer's authorization to be at a venue, for example).


Silicone wristbands

The Make Poverty History white wristband and a red Christian band.

In the early to mid-2000s, bracelets often made of silicone became popular. They are worn to demonstrate the wearer's support of a cause or charitable organization, similar to awareness ribbons. Such wristbands are sometimes called awareness bracelets to distinguish them from other types of wristbands.

UV ultra violet wristbands

UV Ultra Violet Sensitive silicone wristbands appear clear/white when out of UV light, but when exposed to ultra violet light such as sunlight the wristbands' color changes to blue or fuchsia. These bands can be used as reminders for people to apply sunscreen or stay in the shade on hot summer days.

Hospital wristbands

Example of hospital wristband

Hospital wristbands are a commonly used safety device for identifying patients undergoing medical care. Available in a variety of sizes to accommodate patients as small as newborns and as large as obese adults, hospital wristbands can be handwritten, embossed, laser-printed or thermal-imaged with names, pictures, medical record numbers, barcodes and other personal identifiers.

Laser printing and thermal imaging—the most advanced technologies for personalizing hospital wristbands—support fonts, colors and barcodes for improved patient safety through electronic patient and medication tracking. Handwritten and embossed wristbands remain in widespread use, however, despite findings on compromised safety reported in 2007. The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) found that as many as 2,900 patients each year were receiving the wrong medical care because of the hospital staff's inability to read damaged or otherwise illegible patient information on handwritten and embossed wristbands[1].

Event wristbands

A festival wristband

Colored wristbands are often given to attendees at events such as music festivals and gigs, as an access control measure. Counterfeit wristbands are increasingly common.[2][3] Some people keep the wristbands as souvenirs or wear the wristbands after the event to show what events they went to.[4] Further uses for the wristband in event ticketing at music festivals and sporting events may include an NFC (Near Field Communications) chip that would allow contactless payment at the concessions and turnstiles. This would allow for faster service at the concessions as the wristband only needs to be passed across a reader in order for payment to be made.

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Wristband — Wrist band, n. The band of the sleeve of a shirt, or other garment, which covers the wrist. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • wristband — ► NOUN ▪ a band word round the wrist, especially for identity purposes or as a sweatband …   English terms dictionary

  • wristband — [rist′band΄] n. a band that goes around the wrist, as the cuff of a sleeve …   English World dictionary

  • wristband — UK [ˈrɪstˌbænd] / US noun [countable] Word forms wristband : singular wristband plural wristbands a) something that you wear around your wrist, for example when you are playing sport b) the leather or plastic part of a wristwatch that goes around …   English dictionary

  • wristband — noun Date: 1571 1. the part of a sleeve covering the wrist 2. a band encircling the wrist …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Wristband — Verschiede Silikonarmbänder Ein Silikonarmband (oder nach dem Namen einer Organisation auch Livestrong Armband) ist ein Armband aus Silikon, das von einer gemeinnützigen Organisation verkauft wird, damit der Träger seine Sympathie mit einer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • wristband — /rist band /, n. 1. the band of a sleeve, esp. that of a shirt sleeve, that covers the wrist. 2. a strap attached to a wrist watch and worn around the wrist. 3. a sweatband worn on the wrist to absorb perspiration. [1565 75; WRIST + BAND2] * * * …   Universalium

  • wristband — noun a) the cuff of a sleeve that wraps around the wrist b) a strip of material worn around the wrist, e.g. to absorb perspiration, especially in sports Syn: wristlet, lanyard …   Wiktionary

  • wristband — Synonyms and related words: anklet, armlet, band, bangle, beads, belt, bijou, bracelet, breastpin, brooch, chain, chaplet, charm, chatelaine, cincture, cingulum, circle, collar, collarband, coronet, crown, diadem, earring, ecliptic, equator,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • wristband — wrist|band [ˈrıstbænd] n 1.) a band that some tennis players wear around their wrists 2.) a band with your name on it that you wear around your wrist, for example in a hospital …   Dictionary of contemporary English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”