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or bans

[banz] /bænz/
noun, (used with a plural verb) Ecclesiastical.
notice of an intended marriage, given three times in the parish church of each of the betrothed.
any public announcement of a proposed marriage, either verbal or written and made in a church or by church officials.
Origin of banns
1540-50; variant of bans, plural of ban2
Can be confused
banns, bans. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for banns
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She must have been having you on, for the banns was up at St. George's this three weeks!

    The Foolish Lovers St. John G. Ervine
  • The banns have not been duly published, neither is there any priest here to marry them.

  • Hadn't you better fix the wedding-day and take out the banns, now that your hand is in?

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • I'll put the banns up to-morrow—no; I'll get a special license.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice
  • But the stars and the Gypsy brethren forbid the banns, so they part eternally.

    Lavengro George Borrow
  • Should the "banns be published," however the license fee is not required.

  • "Sophie Bunch came last night to put up her banns," he said.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • "Th' baans (banns) 'll be cried in the church next Sunday," said Betsey.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • It is strange to think that Peter did not alight in the church and forbid the banns.

    Peter and Wendy James Matthew Barrie
British Dictionary definitions for banns


plural noun
the public declaration of an intended marriage, usually formally announced on three successive Sundays in the parish churches of both the betrothed
forbid the banns, to raise an objection to a marriage announced in this way
Word Origin
C14: plural of bann proclamation; see ban1
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 banns

see bann.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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