ban·​dit ˈban-dət How to pronounce bandit (audio)
plural bandits
plural also banditti ban-ˈdi-tē How to pronounce bandit (audio) : an outlaw who lives by plunder
especially : a member of a band of marauders
: robber
: an enemy plane
banditry noun

Examples of bandit in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Already, up to a hundred pickups, with 30 passengers squeezed in each, leave Agadez every week under military escort to protect them from bandits. Elian Peltier Carmen Abd Ali, New York Times, 23 Jan. 2024 Hours before sunrise on Sunday, a surveillance video showed three bandits bludgeon their way into a boba shop in San Bernardino by smashing a glass door and stealing an iPad, T-shirts — and 20 cookies. Anthony De Leon, Los Angeles Times, 17 Jan. 2024 Armed bandits ran amok, according to Amnesty International, in some 20 communities across central Nigeria, killing more than 140. Paul Tilsley, Fox News, 30 Dec. 2023 Citizens must live in underground bunkers to protect themselves from radiation, mutants and bandits after nuclear annihilation. Jordan Moreau, Variety, 1 Dec. 2023 War photographers are historians, artists, trespassers, and emotional bandits with complicated motives, some virtuous, some not. Corinne Dufka, The Atlantic, 11 Dec. 2023 Here is the dark legend of a Corsican bandit who would conquer Europe. Zenger News, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Not for District residents hoping to buy baby formula or cereal on their way home, and not for the dwindling numbers of workers left helpless and without backup, as was the case in that viral video of garbage-bag bandits loading up at a Bethesda CVS this year. Petula Dvorak, Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2023 After a lifetime of making out like bandits, the rich have to make do. Helen Shaw, The New Yorker, 26 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from Italian bandito (earlier in English also bandetto, probably by association with the Italian diminutive suffix -etto), noun derivative of bandito "put under a ban, outlawed, exiled," from past participle of bandire "(of a government or other authority) to announce, proclaim, proscribe, outlaw," probably borrowed (directly or via Old Occitan bandir) from Gothic bandwjan "to give a sign, show, reveal," derivative of bandwo "sign, signal" — more at band entry 3

Note: See also note at banderole.

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bandit was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near bandit

Cite this Entry

“Bandit.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


ban·​dit ˈban-dət How to pronounce bandit (audio)
plural bandits also banditti ban-ˈdit-ē How to pronounce bandit (audio)
: a person who lives by stealing and often as a member of a band : robber, outlaw
banditry noun

from Italian bandito, literally, "one who is banished"

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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