verb (used with object), banned, ban·ning.

to prohibit, forbid, or bar; interdict: to ban nuclear weapons; The dictator banned all newspapers and books that criticized his regime.
  1. to pronounce an ecclesiastical curse upon.
  2. to curse; execrate.


Nearby words

  1. bamboo network,
  2. bamboo shoots,
  3. bamboo turning,
  4. bamboo ware,
  5. bamboozle,
  6. ban-lon,
  7. ban-the-bomber,
  8. banaba,
  9. banaban,
  10. banach space

Origin of ban

before 1000; Middle English bannen, Old English bannan to summon, proclaim; cognate with Old Norse banna to curse (probably influencing some senses of ME word), Old High German bannan; akin to Latin fārī to speak, Sanskrit bhanati (he) speaks

Related formsban·na·ble, adjectiveun·banned, adjective

Can be confusedband bannedbanns bans Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for banned

British Dictionary definitions for banned



verb bans, banning or banned

(tr) to prohibit, esp officially, from action, display, entrance, sale, etc; forbidto ban a book; to ban smoking
(tr) (formerly in South Africa) to place (a person suspected of illegal political activity) under a government order restricting his movement and his contact with other people
archaic to curse


an official prohibition or interdiction
law an official proclamation or public notice, esp of prohibition
a public proclamation or edict, esp of outlawry
archaic public censure or condemnation
archaic a curse; imprecation

Word Origin for ban

Old English bannan to proclaim; compare Old Norse banna to forbid, Old High German bannan to command




(in feudal England) the summoning of vassals to perform their military obligations

Word Origin for ban

C13: from Old French ban, of Germanic origin; related to Old High German ban command, Old Norse bann ban 1



noun plural bani (ˈbɑːnɪ)

a monetary unit of Romania and Moldova worth one hundredth of a leu

Word Origin for ban

from Romanian, from Serbo-Croat bān lord

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 banned
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper