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

Definition of bandy

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to discuss lightly or banteringly Names of potential running mates have been bandied about.
b : exchange bandy compliments especially : to exchange (words) argumentatively
c : 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.
d : to use in a glib or offhand manner often used with about bandy these statistics about with considerable bravado— Richard Pollak
2 : to bat (something, such as a tennis ball) to and fro
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

Other Words from bandy


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

Examples of bandy in a Sentence

Verb bandied around the idea of going out to dinner for their anniversary
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The two intellectuals bandy descriptions back and forth, the sensuous detail and speakers’ enthusiasm giving the exchange an increasingly erotic edge. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2022 But where other productions might center on male protagonists who bandy about business schemes while dancers adorn their laps or perform acrobatics overhead, P-Valley grounds its stories in the strippers’ lives. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, 5 Sep. 2020 Packages of anywhere from $500 billion to $1 trillion have been bandied about, with Democrats predicting massive cuts to payroll and services if the money is not forthcoming. Michael Braga, USA TODAY, 13 May 2020 The hypothetical Planet 9 has been bandied about for several years, first mentioned in 2014, but researchers have yet to find it. Fox News, 9 May 2020 That’s one reason why proposals more radical than anything on the Fed’s own radar have been bandied about with growing urgency by monetary policy wonks. Matthew Boesler,, 5 May 2020 These were all names bandied about in reports forecasting the inevitable trade. Globe Staff,, 5 Feb. 2020 Anecdotally, all kinds of cost-saving measures are being bandied about in athletic departments across the country. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2020 And then in terms of the vaccine, people have bandied around numbers like a year to 18 months away. Wired Staff, Wired, 5 Apr. 2020 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, 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,, 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, 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,, 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, 30 Jan. 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of bandy


1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2


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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Cite this Entry

“Bandy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2022.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on bandy

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


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