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banana republic

noun, Usually Disparaging.
any of the small countries in the tropics, especially in the Western Hemisphere, whose economies are largely dependent on fruit exports, tourism, and foreign investors.
Origin of banana republic
First recorded in 1930-35
Usage note
This term typically refers to a dictatorship that exploits agricultural workers. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for banana republics

banana republic

(derogatory) a small country, esp in Central America, that is politically unstable and has an economy dominated by foreign interest, usually dependent on one export, such as bananas
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for banana republics

banana republic


"small Central American state with an economy dependent on banana production," 1901, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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banana republics in Culture

banana republics definition

A term describing any of several small nations in Latin America that have economies based on a few agricultural crops.

Note: The term banana republic is often used in a disparaging sense; it suggests an unstable government.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for banana republics

banana republic

noun phrase

A small country, esp Central American, dominated by foreign companies

[1930s+; fr the fact that such places were typically under the control of the United Fruit Company and grew bananas]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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