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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
First recorded in 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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bantering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now and then, he laughed in a merry way, as if he were bantering her out of something.

    To be Read at Dusk Charles Dickens
  • This bantering is most pointed if we assume that Rosaline was dark rather than fair.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • But when the last case had been taken out, Max dropped his bantering manner.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Gilbert's voice had changed from its bantering note to a note of resolve.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • She laughed with an affectionate air, and spoke to him in a friendly, bantering way.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • Then he dropped the easy, bantering manner with a suddenness that was startling.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • Hippias, catching the words, exclaimed in a bantering tone: What!

    The Memorabilia Xenophon
British Dictionary definitions for bantering


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 bantering



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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