• synonyms


or bans

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noun (used with a plural verb) Ecclesiastical.
  1. notice of an intended marriage, given three times in the parish church of each of the betrothed.
  2. any public announcement of a proposed marriage, either verbal or written and made in a church or by church officials.
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Origin of banns

1540–50; variant of bans, plural of ban2
Can be confusedbanns bans
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for banns

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • She must have been having you on, for the banns was up at St. George's this three weeks!

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • The banns have not been duly published, neither is there any priest here to marry them.

  • Hadn't you better fix the wedding-day and take out the banns, now that your hand is in?

    The Manxman

    Hall Caine

  • I'll put the banns up to-morrow—no; I'll get a special license.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills

    Charles Garvice

  • But the stars and the Gypsy brethren forbid the banns, so they part eternally.


    George Borrow

British Dictionary definitions for banns



pl n
  1. the public declaration of an intended marriage, usually formally announced on three successive Sundays in the parish churches of both the betrothed
  2. forbid the banns to raise an objection to a marriage announced in this way
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Word Origin

C14: plural of bann proclamation; see 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 banns


see bann.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper