banana

[buh-nan-uh]

noun

a tropical plant of the genus Musa, certain species of which are cultivated for their nutritious fruit.Compare banana family.
the fruit, especially that of M. paradisiaca, with yellow or reddish rind.

Nearby words

  1. banak,
  2. banal,
  3. banality,
  4. banalize,
  5. banally,
  6. banana belt,
  7. banana bender,
  8. banana family,
  9. banana oil,
  10. banana plug

Origin of banana

1590–1600; < Spanish < Portuguese (perhaps via Sp); akin to various words for banana or plantain in WAfr languages (e.g., Wolof, Malinke banana, Vai (Mande language of Liberia) bana), but ultimate source and direction of borrowing uncertain

Can be confusedbanana plantain1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for banana


British Dictionary definitions for banana

banana

noun

any of several tropical and subtropical herbaceous treelike plants of the musaceous genus Musa, esp M. sapientum, a widely cultivated species propagated from suckers and having hanging clusters of edible fruit
the crescent-shaped fruit of any of these plantsCompare plantain 2

Word Origin for banana

C16: from Spanish or Portuguese, of African 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

Word Origin and History for banana

banana

n.

1590s, borrowed by Spanish or Portuguese from a West African word, possibly Wolof banana. The plant was introduced to the New World from Africa in 1516. Top banana, second banana, etc. are 1950s, from show business slang use of banana for "comedian, especially in a burlesque show." Banana split first attested 1920. Banana oil "nonsense" is slang from c.1910.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with banana

banana

In addition to the idiom beginning with banana

  • banana oil

also see:

  • drive someone crazy (bananas)
  • go bananas
  • top banana
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.