1670s as verb, 1680s as noun. The origin is unk en, possibly from London street slang; ostensibly as *bant + -er. Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈbæntə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈbæntɚ/

banter (uncountable)

  1. Sharp, good-humoured, playful, typically spontaneous conversation.
    • 1925-29, Mahadev Desai (translator), Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Part I, chapter xviii:
      I was elected to the Executive Committee of the Vegetarian Society, and made it a point to attend every one of its meetings, but I always felt tongue-tied. Dr. Oldfield once said to me, 'You talk to me quite all right, but why is it that you never open your lips at a committee meeting? You are a drone.' I appreciated the banter. The bees are ever busy, the drone is a thorough idler.
    Synonyms: pleasantry, raillery
Translations Verb

banter (banters, present participle bantering; past and past participle bantered)

  1. (intransitive) To engage in banter or playful conversation.
  2. (intransitive) To play or do something amusing.
  3. (transitive) To tease (someone) mildly.
    • Hag-ridden by my own fancy all night, and then bantered on my haggard looks the next day.
    • Mr. Sweeting was bantered about his stature—he was a little man, a mere boy in height and breadth compared with the athletic Malone […]
  4. (transitive) To joke about; to ridicule (a trait, habit, etc.).
    • If they banter your regularity, order, and love of study, banter in return their neglect of them.
  5. (transitive) To delude or trick; to play a prank upon.
    • We diverted ourselves with bantering several poor scholars with hopes of being at least his lordship's chaplain.
  6. (transitive, US, Southern and Western, colloquial) To challenge to a match.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations

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