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[ban-ter] /ˈbæn tər/
an exchange of light, playful, teasing remarks; good-natured raillery.
verb (used with object)
to address with banter; chaff.
verb (used without object)
to use banter.
Origin of banter
1660-70; origin uncertain
Related forms
banterer, noun
banteringly, adverb
outbanter, verb (used with object)
unbantering, adjective
unbanteringly, adverb
1. badinage, joking, jesting, pleasantry, persiflage. 2. tease, twit; ridicule, deride, mock. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for banter
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nay, she throws aside the cowl entirely, and by her natural bright humor tries to banter him into acquiescence.

    Studies in Medival Life and Literature Edward Tompkins McLaughlin
  • It is said that we Americans are peculiar for banter on this subject.

    The Young Maiden A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
  • He revels in an interchange of banter and repartee which makes her eyes sparkle and his pulses beat the faster.

  • In all this banter the cowmen joined with their own well-flavored wit.

    The Free Range Francis William Sullivan
  • The time for banter had passed; they fought grimly and silently.

    The Puppet Crown Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for banter


to speak to or tease lightly or jokingly
light, teasing, or joking language or repartee
Derived Forms
banterer, noun
Word Origin
C17: of unknown origin
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 banter

1670s, origin uncertain; said by Swift to be a word from London street slang. Related: Bantered; bantering. The noun is from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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