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

Illustration of banyan

Illustration of banyan

Examples of banyan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Merlin Entertainments Group, which owns the Legoland parks, has maintained gardens, including the formidable banyan tree. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 27 July 2022 Growing up in Auroville, Ms. Park picked lemons and swung on the limbs of banyan trees. New York Times, 5 Mar. 2022 Another top-flight, off-menu mojito can be found in Little River at Sunny’s Steakhouse, an outdoor restaurant arrayed around (and beneath) a massive banyan tree. Matthew Kronsberg, WSJ, 1 Mar. 2022 Both homes are surrounded by mature kapok and banyan trees that deliver even more privacy. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 9 Feb. 2022 The rapper got down on one knee Tuesday (Jan. 11) in front of a banyan tree the couple holds close to their heart. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 14 Jan. 2022 Fox announced their engagement Wednesday on Instagram, sharing a video of her husband-to-be getting down on one knee under a banyan tree that holds a significant meaning in their relationship. Glenn Garner,, 13 Jan. 2022 Since late 2020, Guangzhou has removed many banyan trees as part of municipal beautification projects. Washington Post, 15 Dec. 2021 Visit the majestic 32-foot-tall banyan Wishing Tree illuminated with 100,000 festive LED lights. Mary Lou Cruz,, 12 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About banyan

Dictionary Entries Near banyan



banyan day

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for banyan

Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Banyan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on banyan Encyclopedia article about banyan


Test Your Vocabulary

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!