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noun, plural ban·dits or (Rare) ban·dit·ti [ban-dit-ee] /bænˈdɪt i/.
  1. a robber, especially a member of a gang or marauding band.
  2. an outlaw or highwayman.
  3. Informal.
    1. a person who takes unfair advantage of others, as a merchant who overcharges; swindler; cheat.
    2. a vendor, cab driver, etc., who operates a business or works without a required license or permit, and without observing the usual rules or practices.
  4. Military Informal. an enemy aircraft, especially an attacking fighter.
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  1. make out like a bandit, Slang. to be extremely successful; profit greatly: The early investors in the company have made out like bandits.
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Origin of bandit

1585–95; earlier bandetto, plural banditti < Italian banditi outlaws, plural of bandito proscribed, past participle of bandire banish, exile, announce publicly < Gothic bandwjan to make a sign, indicate (cf. band1) with v. suffix -ire < Latin -īre


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1, 2. brigand, desperado.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for bandit


noun plural -dits or -ditti (-ˈdɪtɪ)
  1. a robber, esp a member of an armed gang; brigand
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Derived Formsbanditry, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Italian bandito, literally: banished man, from bandire to proscribe, from bando edict, ban 1
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 bandit


1590s, from Italian bandito (plural banditi) "outlaw," past participle of bandire "proscribe, banish," from Vulgar Latin *bannire "to proclaim, proscribe," from Proto-Germanic *bann (see ban (v.)). *Bannire (or its Frankish cognate *bannjan) in Old French became banir-, which, with lengthened stem, became English banish.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper