a city in S California, near Los Angeles.



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.


the act of prohibiting by law; interdiction.
informal denunciation or prohibition, as by public opinion: society's ban on racial discrimination.
  1. a proclamation.
  2. a public condemnation.
Ecclesiastical. a formal condemnation; excommunication.
a malediction; curse.

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

Synonyms for ban

Antonyms for ban

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

Examples from the Web for banning

Contemporary Examples of banning

Historical Examples of banning

  • I beetled it down to the nearest phone and got hold of my BANning number.

    A Spaceship Named McGuire

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • A demand was made for the excommunication of the translator and the banning of his work.


    J.A. McClymont

  • White to the lips, Banning saluted, and executed the orders.

    The Argus Pheasant

    John Charles Beecham

  • Banning suggested a sortie in force to intimidate the Dyaks.

    The Argus Pheasant

    John Charles Beecham

  • She said, "Banning, do you know what a Jane Austen villain is?"

    A World Apart

    Samuel Kimball Merwin

British Dictionary definitions for banning



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 banning



Old English bannan "to summon, command, proclaim," from Proto-Germanic *bannan "proclaim, command, forbid" (cf. Old High German bannan "to command or forbid under threat of punishment," German bannen "banish, expel, curse"), originally "to speak publicly," from PIE root *bha- (2) "to speak" (cf. Old Irish bann "law," Armenian ban "word;" see fame (n.)).

Main modern sense of "to prohibit" (late 14c.) is from Old Norse cognate banna "to curse, prohibit," and probably in part from Old French ban, which meant "outlawry, banishment," among other things (see banal) and was a borrowing from Germanic. The sense evolution in Germanic was from "speak" to "proclaim a threat" to (in Norse, German, etc.) "curse."

The Germanic root, borrowed in Latin and French, has been productive, e.g. banish, bandit, contraband, etc. Related: Banned; banning. Banned in Boston dates from 1920s, in allusion to the excessive zeal and power of that city's Watch and Ward Society.



"governor of Croatia," from Serbo-Croatian ban "lord, master, ruler," from Persian ban "prince, lord, chief, governor," related to Sanskrit pati "guards, protects." Hence banat "district governed by a ban," with Latinate suffix -atus. The Persian word got into Slavic perhaps via the Avars.



"edict of prohibition," c.1300, "proclamation or edict of an overlord," from Old English (ge)bann "proclamation, summons, command" and Old French ban, both from Germanic; see ban (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper