banana republic

[ buh-nan-uhri-puhb-lik ]
/ bəˈnæn ə rɪˈpʌb lɪk /
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noun Usually Disparaging.

a small, poor country, often reliant on a single export or limited resource, governed by an authoritarian regime and characterized by corruption and economic exploitation by foreign corporations conspiring with local government officials.
any exploitative government that functions poorly for its citizenry while disproportionately benefiting a corrupt elite group or individual.



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Origin of banana republic

Coined by O. Henry in his short-story collection Cabbages and Kings (1904); originally used to describe those agrarian countries of Central America dependent in the early 20th century on foreign investment in fruit exports
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use banana republic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for banana republic

banana republic


derogatory a small country, esp in Central America, that is politically unstable and has an economy dominated by foreign interest, usually dependent on one export, such as bananas
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