ban·​dy | \ ˈban-dē How to pronounce bandy (audio) \
bandied; bandying

Definition of bandy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to bat (something, such as a tennis ball) to and fro
2a : to toss from side to side or pass about from one to another often in a careless or inappropriate manner A gun is not a toy to be bandied about.
b : exchange bandy compliments especially : to exchange (words) argumentatively
c : to discuss lightly or banteringly Names of potential running mates have been bandied about.
d : to use in a glib or offhand manner often used with about bandy these statistics about with considerable bravado— Richard Pollak
3 archaic : to band together

intransitive verb

1 obsolete : contend
2 archaic : unite



Definition of bandy (Entry 2 of 3)

sports : a game similar to hockey and believed to be its prototype



Definition of bandy (Entry 3 of 3)

1 of legs : bowed
2 : bowlegged … stood beyond the bandy table …— Dylan Thomas

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Other Words from bandy


bandy-legged \ ˈban-​dē-​ˌlegd How to pronounce bandy-legged (audio) ; ˌban-​dē-​ˈle-​gəd , -​ˈlā-​ \ adjective

Examples of bandy in a Sentence


bandied around the idea of going out to dinner for their anniversary

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And those are some of the sites that have been bandied about for quite a long time. John Byrne,, "Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says downtown casino site could still end up in the mix for consideration," 18 July 2019 However, much worse alternatives were being bandied about. The Economist, "The tasks facing Europe’s top team," 4 July 2019 And, though £80m is the figure that has been bandied about the most, according to The Sun, that is still a bridge too far for the Citizens, who are now only willing to pay around £60m for the 26-year-old England international., "Harry Maguire Wants Manchester City Move as Leicester Play Hardball Over Proposed Fee," 25 June 2019 After the way every possible permutation of this topic has been bandied about for the past month — such is the NBA silly season — the answers should not surprise anyone. Nick Talbot,, "Writers’ Roundtable: Are the Spurs still a playoff team after this offseason?," 20 July 2019 City leaders have bandied the idea of a car-free plaza since 2015, about the time that Uber and Lyft vehicles began swarming the road to get from downtown to the Haight district. Rachel Swan,, "City transit officials vote to close block in Hayes Valley to car traffic, adding bike lane," 16 July 2019 Although the idea to complete them all in a single year has been bandied about before, no climber has actually undertaken the challenge with serious intent. National Geographic, "Meet Nepal's new 'action hero' climber," 24 May 2019 Fusion cuisine isn’t a term these women bandy about. Sarah Henry, Washington Post, "A new wave of immigrant cookbooks celebrates America’s delicious diversity," 27 June 2019 The names will be bandied about for the next month and a half are obvious. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros mailbag: When will Jose Altuve return to action?," 13 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

So naturally, Duchess Kate, who played field hockey while attending school, had to give the sport a try during her first official visit to Sweden, picking up bandy sticks during a stop in Stockholm with Prince William on Tuesday. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Pregnant Duchess Kate plays 'bandy hockey' in Sweden," 30 Jan. 2018 The flask was brought in a bandy portfolj, a briefcase that traditionally contains a flask of warm wine or coffee laced with alcohol. Simon Perry,, "Pregnant Kate Middleton Boldly Hits the Ice as She Rounds Her Third Trimester," 30 Jan. 2018 During their royal tour of Sweden, the couple stopped by an ice rink to learn more about bandy hockey (the Swedish sport is like traditional hockey, but played with a curved stick and a ball). Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Challenges Prince William to a Swedish Hockey Shoot-Out," 30 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

On the first day of their official visit to Sweden, Prince William and Kate Middleton met up with their hosts (and Swedish counterparts!), Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel after a morning spent watching (and playing a bit of) bandy hockey. Simon Perry,, "Future Queens! Kate Middleton Twins in Faux Fur with Her Swedish Counterpart, Princess Victoria," 30 Jan. 2018 Just turn to Kate Middleton and Prince William, who were photographed playing a little bandy hockey on Tuesday in Stockholm, Sweden. Peggy Truong, Cosmopolitan, "Just 15 Delightful Photos of a Pregnant Kate Middleton Playing Hockey in Sweden," 30 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bandy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bandy


1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1673, in the meaning defined above


1681, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bandy


probably borrowed from the base of French bander "to strike (a ball with a racket), stretch or draw back (a bow, spring, etc.)," going back to Old French, "to stretch, wrap with bandages," verbal derivative of bande "strip, band entry 1"

Note: The origin of the suffix -y, -ie is unclear. The noun bandie referring to a variation of tennis is of the same date and suggests a putative Middle French bandé or bandée, but no such word is attested.


earlier, "a variety of tennis," probably noun derivative of bandy entry 1

Note: See note at bandy entry 1.


perhaps from bandy "curved stick used in the game of bandy," apparently a sense of bandy entry 2

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Statistics for bandy

Last Updated

18 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bandy

The first known use of bandy was in 1577

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More Definitions for bandy


ban·​dy | \ ˈban-dē How to pronounce bandy (audio) \

Medical Definition of bandy

1 of legs : bowed outward at or below the knee
2 : bowlegged

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More from Merriam-Webster on bandy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bandy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bandy

Spanish Central: Translation of bandy

Nglish: Translation of bandy for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bandy

Comments on bandy

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a haphazard or makeshift solution

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