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or bandana

[ban-dan-uh] /bænˈdæn ə/
a large, printed handkerchief, typically one with white spots or figures on a red or blue background.
any large scarf for the neck or head.
Origin of bandanna
1745-55; earlier bandanno (second syllable unstressed) < Hindi bā̃dhnū tie dyeing
Related forms
[ban-dan-uh d] /bænˈdæn əd/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bandana
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A bandana was tied across his eyes, and the men led him into the pocket of rock.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • He wiped away with the bandana, thinking that thus he concealed his emotions.

    Terry Charles Goff Thomson
  • His rough hair was braided into a queue and tied back with a bandana.

    Strange Stories of the Great River Abbie Johnston Grosvenor
  • He, too, was very pale, and every now and then he wiped his face with a bandana handkerchief.

    Within the Capes Howard Pyle
  • While it was forthcoming he toyed furtively with his bandana.

  • He fumbled at his bandana, then hopelessly replaced it in his pocket.

    The Way of the Wind

    Zoe Anderson Norris
  • McCoy cried involuntarily, mopping his face with a bandana handkerchief.

    South Sea Tales Jack London
British Dictionary definitions for bandana


a large silk or cotton handkerchief or neckerchief
Word Origin
C18: from Hindi bāndhnū tie-dyeing, from bāndhnā to tie, from Sanskrit bandhnāti he ties
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 bandana

also often bandanna, 1752, from Hindi bandhnu, a method of dyeing, from Sanskrit badhnati "binds" (because the cloth is tied like modern tie-dye), from same PIE root as band (n.1). Etymologically, the colors and spots are what makes it a bandana.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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