banana republic


noun Usually Disparaging.

any of the small countries in the tropics, especially in the Western Hemisphere, whose economies are largely dependent on fruit exports, tourism, and foreign investors.

Nearby words

  1. banana bender,
  2. banana family,
  3. banana oil,
  4. banana plug,
  5. banana prawn,
  6. banana republics,
  7. banana seat,
  8. banana shrub,
  9. banana skin,
  10. banana slug

Origin of banana republic

First recorded in 1930–35

Usage note

This term typically refers to a dictatorship that exploits agricultural workers. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for banana republic

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

Word Origin and History for banana republic

banana republic


"small Central American state with an economy dependent on banana production," 1901, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper