ba·​nana bə-ˈna-nə How to pronounce banana (audio)
 especially British  -ˈnä-
: an elongated usually tapering tropical fruit with soft pulpy flesh enclosed in a soft usually yellow rind
a bunch of bananas
slipped on a banana peel
: any of several widely cultivated perennial often treelike herbs (genus Musa of the family Musaceae, the banana family) bearing bananas in compact pendent bunches

Illustration of banana

Illustration of banana
  • banana 2

Examples of banana in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Every game opens with a Banana Baby, held aloft like Simba (but dressed in a banana peel) while the players kneel before the bemused child and its parents. Brandee Gruener, Southern Living, 10 Sep. 2023 Latta’s drink order is brought out to the courtyard: An iced green tea with oat milk that looks more like a slurry of banana medicine and lime juice. Erika Houle, Los Angeles Times, 7 Sep. 2023 On a cloudy, gusty morning last month, three dozen students, teachers, construction workers, electricians and bartenders wore helmets and shoulder pads and boomed torpedoes, banana kicks and drop punts. Jeré Longman, New York Times, 7 Sep. 2023 The South American country is the world’s largest exporter of bananas, shipping about 7.2 tons a year by sea. Regina Garcia Cano, Chicago Tribune, 5 Sep. 2023 Once that classic song starts, people just go bananas. Alli Rosenbloom, CNN, 4 Sep. 2023 This sampler pack comes with two large cups of banana pudding and two cupcakes. Jasmine Gomez, Women's Health, 25 Aug. 2023 The Monstera plant develops fruit that tastes like a mix between a banana, a pineapple, and a mango, which in South America has earned the plant another nickname: fruit salad plant. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, 30 Aug. 2023 Some human foods are OK for animal consumption, such as bananas or watermelon, but others are not, like grapes. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 30 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'banana.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Spanish or Portuguese; Spanish, from Portuguese, of African origin; akin to Wolof banaana banana

First Known Use

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of banana was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near banana

Cite this Entry

“Banana.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ba·​nana bə-ˈnan-ə How to pronounce banana (audio)
: a treelike tropical plant with large leaves and flower clusters that develop into a bunch of finger-shaped fruit which are usually yellow when ripe
also : its fruit

More from Merriam-Webster on banana

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