noun (1)
\ ˈband How to pronounce band (audio) \

Definition of band

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : something that confines or constricts while allowing a degree of movement
2 : something that binds or restrains legally, morally, or spiritually
3 : a strip serving to join or hold things together: such as
b : a cord or strip across the back of a book to which the sections are sewn
4 : a thin flat encircling strip: such as
a : a close-fitting strip that confines material at the waist, neck, or cuff of clothing
b : a strip of cloth used to protect a newborn baby's navel

called also bellyband

c : a ring of elastic
5a : a strip (as of living tissue or rock) or a stripe (as on an animal) differentiable (as by color, texture, or structure) from the adjacent material or area
b : a more or less well-defined range of wavelengths, frequencies, or energies
6 : a narrow strip serving chiefly as decoration: such as
a : a narrow strip of material applied as trimming to an article of dress
b bands plural : a pair of strips hanging at the front of the neck as part of a clerical, legal, or academic dress
c : a ring without raised portions


banded; banding; bands

Definition of band (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to affix a band to or tie up with a band
2 : to finish or decorate with a band
3 : to gather together : unite banded themselves together for protection

intransitive verb

: to unite for a common purpose often used with together have banded together in hopes of attacking the blight that is common to them all— J. B. Conant


noun (2)

Definition of band (Entry 3 of 3)

: a group of persons, animals, or things especially : a group of musicians organized for ensemble playing

Other Words from band


bander noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for band

Synonyms: Noun (1)

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun (2)

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of band in a Sentence

Verb banded the waist of the dress with a speckled belt banded the newspapers together for delivery

First Known Use of band

Noun (1)

12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for band

Noun (1)

in senses 1 & 2, from Middle English band, bond something that constricts, from Old Norse band; akin to Old English bindan to bind; in other senses, from Middle English bande strip, from Middle French, from Vulgar Latin *binda, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German binta fillet; akin to Old English bindan to bind, bend fetter — more at bind

Noun (2)

borrowed from Middle French bande "troop, company of people," borrowed from Old Occitan banda, going back to Late Latin banda, plural of bandum "flag, standard" (attested in glosses), borrowed from Gothic bandwo "sign, signal" (or a cognate Germanic word), of uncertain origin

Note: The meaning of the Latin word is well illustrated by the following passage from Paul the Deacon's History of the Lombards (Historia Langobardorum, 1.20), written in the late eighth century: "Tato vero Rodulfi vexillum, quod bandum appellant, eiusque galeam, quam in bello gestare consueverat, abstulit." ("Tato [a Lombard king] indeed carried off the banner of Rodulf [a king of the Heruli, a Germanic people], which they call bandum, and his helmet, which he had been accustomed to wear in battle") The presumption is that the standard, which served as a rallying or assembly point for a group of soldiers, was applied to the group itself, and the meaning further generalized to any company of people. — The Gothic word bandwo is generally taken as descending from Indo-European *bheh2- "shine, give light, appear" (see fantasy entry 1) though derivational detail is lacking. D. Kroonen (Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Germanic, Brill, 2013) sees it as from *bhonh2-tu̯éh2, from the base of Germanic *bannan- "speak formally, call on, order" (from *bhonh2-e-, per Kroonen; see ban entry 1 ). The Gothic noun has a verbal derivative bandwjan "to give a sign, reveal," with a prefixed form gabandwjan. The verb is matched by Old Icelandic benda "to beckon, give a sign, forebode," apparently the only other Germanic evidence for the etymon.

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Time Traveler for band

Time Traveler

The first known use of band was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near band

Bancroft's law



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Cite this Entry

“Band.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for band


\ ˈband How to pronounce band (audio) \

Kids Definition of band

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a strip of material that holds together or goes around something else A plastic band held on the container's lid.
2 : a strip of something that is different from what it goes around or across a hat band a band of tall grass
3 : a range of frequencies (as of radio waves)


banded; banding

Kids Definition of band (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to put a strip of material on or around : tie together with a band The envelopes are banded in packs of 50.
2 : to unite in a group "They don't want us banding together for higher wages or better housing," said Marta.— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising



Kids Definition of band (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a group of persons or animals a band of outlaws
2 : a group of musicians performing together


\ ˈband How to pronounce band (audio) \

Medical Definition of band

1 : a thin flat encircling strip especially for binding: as
a : a strip of cloth used to protect a newborn baby's navel

called also bellyband

b : a thin flat strip of metal that encircles a tooth orthodontic bands
2 : a strip separated by some characteristic color or texture or considered apart from what is adjacent: as
a : a stripe, streak, or other elongated mark on an animal especially : one transverse to the long axis of the body
b : a line or streak of differentiated cells
c : one of the alternating dark and light segments of skeletal muscle fibers
d : band cell
e : a strip of abnormal tissue either congenital or acquired especially : a strip of connective tissue that causes obstruction of the bowel

More from Merriam-Webster on band

Nglish: Translation of band for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of band for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about band


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