ban·​yan | \ ˈban-yən How to pronounce banyan (audio) , -ˌyan\
plural banyans

Definition of banyan

: a large fig tree (Ficus benghalensis) native to India and Pakistan that starts as an epiphyte and has spreading branches which send out aerial roots that grow down to the ground and form secondary trunks around the host tree The banyan kills the host tree by preventing its trunk from growing. After the host dies, the banyan continues to grow. Eventually, one tree appears to be an entire forest.National Geographic World

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Illustration of banyan

Examples of banyan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Upon arrival at our campsite in Hāna, go hiking through the surrounding bamboo forests and past century-old banyan trees to a stunning waterfall. National Geographic, "Hawai'i Middle School Expedition," 12 June 2019 Foster took care to preserve a majestic 80-year-old, 65-foot-tall banyan tree outside the museum. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "Palm Beach's Norton Museum of Art Gets a Major New Expansion From Foster + Partners," 5 Feb. 2019 Outside, full-growth banyan trees, paver pathways, and lush landscaping compliment a 1930s guest house that also boasts a wood slat ceiling and fireplace. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Waterfront estate asks $2.4M in Florida," 9 Oct. 2018 Explore seaside Front Street, with ocean breezes blowing off the water on one side and colorful shops on the other, and marvel at the largest banyan tree in Hawaii near Lahaina Harbor. The Seattle Times, "Winter getaway: Stay and play in Kaanapali, Maui," 15 Aug. 2018 Start at the banyan and wander north on Front Street (there's a large public-parking lot at Front and Prison streets). Brian J. Cantwell,, "Rainy day on Maui? Here are 5 great things to do beyond the beach," 24 Apr. 2018 Although none of the foreigners lolling beneath the banyan trees and royal palms recognize him, a ripple of excitement passes through the Cubans, who nudge each other, smile and stare. Néstor Martí, Smithsonian, "The Man Who Saved Havana," 18 Apr. 2018 Naples Botanical Garden What do towering bamboos, crepe myrtle, jack fruit banyan trees, orange bromeliads and bougainvillea have in common? New York Times, "6 Great Gardens to Visit in Florida," 16 Feb. 2018 However, the loss of a beautiful oak, banyan or ficus tree is typically not enough in itself to allow a buyer to walk away from the transaction without losing the deposit. Richard L. Barbara And Bradley L. Barreto, miamiherald, "How does hurricane damage affect residential closings for home buyers and sellers? | Miami Herald," 29 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'banyan.' 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 banyan

1638, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for banyan

earlier banyan Gujarati trader, from Portuguese banean, probably from Tamil vāniyan trader, from Sanskrit vāṇija; from a tree of the species in Iran under which such traders conducted business

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banyan day


banzai attack

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22 Jun 2019

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The first known use of banyan was in 1638

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English Language Learners Definition of banyan

: an Indian tree with long branches that send roots down to the ground forming secondary trunks

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