Banana



a tropical plant of the genus Musa, certain species of which are cultivated for their nutritious fruit.
Compare banana family.
the fruit, especially that of M. paradisiaca, with yellow or reddish rind.
Contemporary Examples

Yes, you can eat familiar voileivăt (sandwiches) for lunch and rice pudding or banana cream pie for jălkiruoat (dessert).
Welcome to Yooperland, A Little Slice of Finland in Michigan Jane & Michael Stern May 10, 2014

The man in the banana suit was, strangely, not the most oddly-dressed person in the crowd.
Never Nudes Flock to ‘Arrested Development’ Banana Stand Kevin Fallon May 16, 2013

Opponents said Sarkozy backing his son for the job made France look like a “banana republic.”
A Sarkozy Is Born Tracy McNicoll October 19, 2011

“Absofruitly not,” the banana girl responds to any notion that her diet could be considered disordered eating.
Why the ‘30 Bananas a Day Diet’ Is Monkey Business Abby Haglage January 1, 2014

Try the banana French toast, the made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes, or a dreamy egg combination.
The Easygoing Flair of San Francisco Jolie Hunt April 9, 2010

Historical Examples

He ignored the ring of hostile faces about him and calmly bit into the banana.
Starman’s Quest Robert Silverberg

“Stick the letter in the banana,” he said, holding the banana down.
Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh

While he was eating the banana, I took the gorilla from the cage and set him on the ground by it.
Gorillas & Chimpanzees R. L. Garner

The whole question of the banana industry hinges on the market.
The Hawaiian Islands The Department of Foreign Affairs

He gave them some roasted bananas and a gourd containing a sweetish drink made from the banana.
The Blind Lion of the Congo Elliott Whitney

noun
any of several tropical and subtropical herbaceous treelike plants of the musaceous genus Musa, esp M. sapientum, a widely cultivated species propagated from suckers and having hanging clusters of edible fruit
the crescent-shaped fruit of any of these plants Compare plantain2
n.

1590s, borrowed by Spanish or Portuguese from a West African word, possibly Wolof banana. The plant was introduced to the New World from Africa in 1516. Top banana, second banana, etc. are 1950s, from show business slang use of banana for “comedian, especially in a burlesque show.” Banana split first attested 1920. Banana oil “nonsense” is slang from c.1910.

noun

A comedian, esp in a burlesque show •These performers were ranked as ”top banana,” ”second banana,” etc (1950s+ Show business)
A sexually attractive light-skinned black woman Considered offensive by the women to whom this term is applied (1940s+ Black)
The penis (1916+)
An Oriental sympathetic with and part of the white majority society •Because white on the inside though yellow on the outside (1980s+)
A patient with jaundice (1980s+ Medical)
A fool; an idiot •Attested as college slang in 1989, probably based on bananas (1920+)
A crazy person; loony (1970s+)

Related Terms

have one’s banana peeled, top banana
build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody
In addition to the idiom beginning with
banana

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  • Banana belt

    noun (Canadian, informal) a region with a warm climate, esp one in Canada noun any region with a relatively warm climate; a tropical region

  • Banana bender

    noun (Austral, derogatory, slang) a native or inhabitant of Queensland Also called Bananalander (bəˈnɑːnəˌlændə)



  • Banana clip

    noun a magazine for a gun (as an AK-47) curved like a small banana Word Origin fr its shape

  • Banana family

    the plant family Musaceae, characterized by large treelike herbaceous plants of tropical regions, having a trunk formed by spiraling leaf sheaths, and bearing large leaves, flower clusters above leathery red-to-purple bracts, and fleshy fruit in clusters, including the banana and plantain. Historical Examples The plant belongs to the banana family and grows as large as […]



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