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[ban-uh-ster] /ˈbæn ə stər/


or bannister

[ban-uh-ster] /ˈbæn ə stər/
a baluster.
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 confused
baluster, balustrade, banister. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bannisters
Historical Examples
  • Then up she'd be coming, step by step, houlding on to the bannisters, dot and carry one.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • He leaned over the bannisters and spied the note on the hall table.

    Mary Louise and Josie O'Gorman

    Emma Speed Sampson
  • His hand gripped the bannisters, his heart leaped to his throat.

    The Devourers Annie Vivanti Chartres
  • You ought to find two letters from me at bannisters, for I have directed two to you there.

    Records of Later Life Frances Ann Kemble
  • I am at present staying with my friends, the Fitz Hughs, at bannisters.

    Records of Later Life Frances Ann Kemble
  • She fell last week over the bannisters of the stairs, and broke her arm.

    Records of Later Life Frances Ann Kemble
  • I went to the bannisters and saw all the servants at the library door.

    Whispering Wires

    Henry Leverage
  • She was sliding down the bannisters with little Annie Richards.

    Village Life in America 1852-1872 Caroline Cowles Richards
  • There are men who would pitch you over the bannisters for a less thing.

    Checkmate Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • The bannisters are so broad and slippery—the very things for sliding on.

British Dictionary definitions for bannisters


plural noun
a variant spelling of banisters


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
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Word Origin and History for bannisters



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
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