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char-à-banc

or char·a·banc

[shar-uh-bang, -bangk; French sha-ra-bahn]
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noun, plural char-à-bancs [-bangz, -bangks; French sha-ra-bahn] /-ˌbæŋz, -ˌbæŋks; French ʃa raˈbɑ̃/. British.
  1. a large bus used on sightseeing tours, especially one with open sides and no center aisle.
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Origin of char-à-banc

1810–20; back formation from French char-à-bancs literally, car with benches, the -s being taken as plural ending of word as a whole
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for charabanc

charabanc

noun
  1. British obsolete a motor coach, esp one used for sightseeing tours
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Word Origin

C19: from French char-à-bancs, wagon with seats
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 charabanc

n.

British for "sightseeing bus," 1811, originally in a Continental context (especially Swiss), from French char-à-bancs, literally "benched carriage," from char "wagon," from Latin carrus (see car) + à "to" (see ad-) + banc "bench" (see bench (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper