or ban·dan·a



a large, printed handkerchief, typically one with white spots or figures on a red or blue background.
any large scarf for the neck or head.

Origin of bandanna

1745–55; earlier bandanno (second syllable unstressed) < Hindi bā̃dhnū tie dyeing
Related formsban·dan·naed [ban-dan-uh d] /bænˈdæn əd/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for bandana

scarf, bandana, hat, neckerchief, hankie, cap, lungi

Examples from the Web for bandana

Contemporary Examples of bandana

Historical Examples of bandana

  • A bandana was tied across his eyes, and the men led him into the pocket of rock.

    Oh, You Tex!

    William Macleod Raine

  • He wiped away with the bandana, thinking that thus he concealed his emotions.


    Charles Goff Thomson

  • His rough hair was braided into a queue and tied back with a bandana.

    Strange Stories of the Great River

    Abbie Johnston Grosvenor

  • He, too, was very pale, and every now and then he wiped his face with a bandana handkerchief.

    Within the Capes

    Howard Pyle

  • While it was forthcoming he toyed furtively with his bandana.

British Dictionary definitions for bandana




a large silk or cotton handkerchief or neckerchief

Word Origin for bandanna

C18: from Hindi bāndhnū tie-dyeing, from bāndhnā to tie, from Sanskrit bandhnāti he ties
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 bandana

also often bandanna, 1752, from Hindi bandhnu, a method of dyeing, from Sanskrit badhnati "binds" (because the cloth is tied like modern tie-dye), from same PIE root as band (n.1). Etymologically, the colors and spots are what makes it a bandana.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper