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  1. banister.


  1. Sir Roger (Gilbert),born 1929, English track and field athlete: first to run a mile in less than four minutes.


or ban·nis·ter

  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

Examples from the Web for bannister

Historical Examples

  • "The Bannister warrant is still out for you," returned the man.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • He leaned over the bannister and called excitedly for Mrs. Clunie.

  • I am prepared to swear, and so is Bannister, that it was smooth and unstained.

  • Now, Bannister, will you please tell us the truth about yesterday's incident?

  • "We are investigating this unhappy business, Bannister," said his master.

British Dictionary definitions for bannister


  1. Sir Roger (Gilbert). born 1929, British athlete and doctor: first man to run a mile in under four minutes (1954)
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

Word Origin and History for bannister



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