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banister

or ban·nis·ter

[ban-uh-ster]
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noun
  1. a baluster.
  2. Sometimes banisters. the balustrade of a staircase.

Origin of banister

1660–70; apparently by dissimilation from earlier barrister, alteration of baluster, perhaps by association with bar1
Can be confusedbaluster balustrade banister
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Word Origin and History for banister

n.

1660s, unexplained corruption of baluster. As late as 1830 condemned as "vulgar," it is now accepted. Surname Bannister is from Old French banastre "basket," hence, "basket-maker."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper