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 aboutbandy 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

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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

Verb bandied around the idea of going out to dinner for their anniversary
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There’s also a question about whether the person identified in news accounts and bandied about the Internet so far actually is the whistleblower. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "News organizations resist Trump’s pressure to release whistleblower’s name," 6 Nov. 2019 There are a lot of ideas that are being bandied about during the primary season, and that’s exactly what this season is for. Joe Heim, Washington Post, "‘The NRA is weaker than they’ve ever been,’ says founder of gun violence prevention group Moms Demand Action," 5 Nov. 2019 Commissioners bandied about the idea of a permanent exhibit in the rotunda of the round courthouse — where the County Commission, School Board and Lake County Water Authority and other boards hold public meetings — and roving exhibits at libraries. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Lake moves forward with Groveland Four monument, plans further displays of black history, civil rights," 16 Sep. 2019 While several Republicans known to Minnesota political observers have been bandied about as potential Craig challengers, Olson is the only announced challenger. Dave Orrick, Twin Cities, "Former Michigan lawmaker Rick Olson to challenge Angie Craig for Congress," 3 Sep. 2019 Manchin-Toomey, the bipartisan background-check bill that came to the fore after Sandy Hook and is being bandied about once again today, is limited to sales that took place at gun shows or were advertised publicly. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "The Promise and Pitfalls of Universal Background Checks," 13 Aug. 2019 New political lingo There is one more post-clampdown scenario being bandied about in Kashmir—the response to the situation by the state’s pro-India politicians currently under detention. Riyaz Wani, Quartz India, "After three weeks of lockdown, this is what Kashmir looks like," 22 Aug. 2019 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 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 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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Time Traveler for bandy

Time Traveler

The first known use of bandy was in 1577

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Statistics for bandy

Last Updated

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bandy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on bandy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bandy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bandy

Spanish Central: Translation of bandy

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

Comments on bandy

What made you want to look up bandy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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