ban·​is·​ter ˈba-nə-stər How to pronounce banister (audio)
variants or less commonly bannister
: a handrail with its supporting posts
banistered adjective

Example Sentences

The children love to slide down the banister. She held the banister tightly.
Recent Examples on the Web Wrap them around a banister, porch rail, or pillar. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Sep. 2022 On the upper levels, the wood floors were refinished and the stair banister was refurbished, Mr. Walton said. Libertina Brandt, WSJ, 31 Aug. 2022 Tack the garland onto the edge of a table, along a banister, or across a door frame to add instant fall color. Savanna Bous, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 Sep. 2022 With an all-steel construction, this gate is suitable for openings between 24 and 40.5 inches wide and opens with a rotating latch that mounts directly to a wall or banister. Kevin Cortez, Popular Mechanics, 7 Sep. 2022 Two floors below, near the staircase where strollers were parked, children spread out on the blue and white carpet to play games, while two giggling boys slid down a short brass banister under the watchful eyes of mothers. New York Times, 4 Aug. 2022 But their insights are undone by an over-the-top, over-the-banister third act whose satirical targeting proves needlessly crude, more in terms of verbiage than violence. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 4 Aug. 2022 Decorating the inside and outside of your home for Halloween can go beyond carving pumpkins, stringing fake spiderwebs, and hanging orange string lights around your banister — although these are all classic go-to ideas! Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 8 July 2022 Or Webster peeps through a banister and pelts the others with water beads from a toy gun. Lynsey Weatherspoon/redux For Cnn, CNN, 7 May 2022 See More

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

Word History


alteration of baluster

First Known Use

1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of banister was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near banister

Cite this Entry

“Banister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



variants also bannister
: one of the slender posts used to support the handrail of a staircase
: a handrail with its supporting posts
: the handrail of a staircase

More from Merriam-Webster on banister

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