or bans


noun (used with a plural verb) Ecclesiastical.

notice of an intended marriage, given three times in the parish church of each of the betrothed.
any public announcement of a proposed marriage, either verbal or written and made in a church or by church officials.

Origin of banns

1540–50; variant of bans, plural of ban2
Can be confusedbanns bans Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for banns

Contemporary Examples of banns

Historical Examples of banns

  • 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

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

Word Origin for banns

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper