banyan

or ban·ian

[ ban-yuhn ]
/ ˈbæn yən /

noun

Also called banyan tree . an East Indian fig tree, Ficus benghalensis, of the mulberry family, having branches that send out adventitious roots to the ground and sometimes cause the tree to spread over a wide area.
Also bania [ban-yuh], /ˈbæn yə/, baniya [ban-yuh, -ee-uh] /ˈbæn yə, -i ə/ . (in India)
  1. a Hindu trader or merchant of a particular caste, the rules of which forbid eating flesh.
  2. a loose shirt, jacket, or gown.

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Origin of banyan

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Portuguese (perhaps from Arabic ), from Gujarati vāṇiyo (singular) or vāṇiyā (plural) member of the merchant caste (compare Prakrit vāṇiaya, Sanskrit vāṇija trader); the tree is said to have taken its name from a particular tree of the species near which merchants had built a booth; source of final nasal uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for banyan

British Dictionary definitions for banyan

banyan

banian

/ (ˈbænjən) /

noun

a moraceous tree, Ficus benghalensis, of tropical India and the East Indies, having aerial roots that grow down into the soil forming additional trunks
a member of the Hindu merchant caste of N and W India
a loose-fitting shirt, jacket, or robe, worn originally in India

Word Origin for banyan

C16: from Hindi baniyā, from Sanskrit vānija merchant
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