[ ar-ee-er-ban; French a ryer-bahn ]
/ ˈær iˌɛrˈbæn; French a ryɛrˈbɑ̃ /
Save This Word!

noun, plural ar·ri·ère-bans [ar-ee-er-banz; French a ryer-bahn]. /ˈær iˌɛrˈbænz; French a ryɛrˈbɑ̃/.

a group of vassals who owed military service, especially to French kings.
the summoning by a medieval ruler of all vassals and free men for military service.



Apostrophes can be tricky; prove you know the difference between it’s and its in this crafty quiz!
Question 1 of 12
On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of arrière-ban

First recorded in 1515–25; from French, alteration (by association with arrière “behind, rear”) of Old French arban, herban, from Germanic; compare Old High German hari “army,” ban “proclamation”; see arrears, ban2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for arrière-ban

/ French (arjɛrbɑ̃) /


(in medieval France) a summons to the king's vassals to do military service
the vassals so assembled for military service
C16: changed from Old French herban call to arms, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German heriban, from heri army + ban summons, ban ²
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
Get Online Help For Kids!