top banana


Definition of top banana

: the leading comedian in a burlesque show broadly : kingpin sense 1

Examples of top banana in a Sentence

He's the mob's top banana.

Recent Examples on the Web

This is, alas, the Yahweh of the early Hebrews, a fickle, petulant, seemingly amoral deity whose childish obsession is with proving himself top banana in the pantheon of primitive gods. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: A Depraved and Beautiful Dream of the World," 12 July 2018 Companies, government agencies and institutes are spending millions of dollars on research and development to find a new top banana. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "The World’s Top Banana Is Doomed and Nobody Can Find a Replacement," 18 Dec. 2017

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

First Known Use of top banana

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for top banana

from a burlesque routine involving three comedians in which the one that gets the punch line also gets a banana

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Time Traveler for top banana

The first known use of top banana was in 1952

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More Definitions for top banana

top banana


English Language Learners Definition of top banana

informal : the most important or powerful person in a group or organization

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