or ban·nis·ter



a baluster.
Sometimes banisters. the balustrade of a staircase.

Origin of banister

1660–70; apparently by dissimilation from earlier barrister, alteration of baluster, perhaps by association with bar1
Can be confusedbaluster balustrade banister Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bannisters

Historical Examples of bannisters

  • Then up she'd be coming, step by step, houlding on to the bannisters, dot and carry one.

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • He leaned over the bannisters and spied the note on the hall table.

  • His hand gripped the bannisters, his heart leaped to his throat.

    The Devourers

    Annie Vivanti Chartres

  • You ought to find two letters from me at Bannisters, for I have directed two to you there.

    Records of Later Life

    Frances Ann Kemble

  • I am at present staying with my friends, the Fitz Hughs, at Bannisters.

    Records of Later Life

    Frances Ann Kemble

British Dictionary definitions for bannisters


pl n

a variant spelling of banisters



Sir Roger (Gilbert). born 1929, British athlete and doctor: first man to run a mile in under four minutes (1954)
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 bannisters



1660s, unexplained corruption of baluster. As late as 1830 condemned as "vulgar," it is now accepted. Surname Bannister is from Old French banastre "basket," hence, "basket-maker."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper