a large, printed handkerchief, typically one with white spots or figures on a red or blue background.
any large scarf for the neck or head.
Contemporary Examples

Well, he does a reggae rap while wearing a bandana on his head.
It’s Been 20 Years Since Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and Ryan Gosling Joined the Mickey Mouse Club Kevin Fallon November 14, 2013

He makes frequent appearances on television, usually wearing aviator shades and a bandana to disguise his identity.
The Way to Understand Kim Jong-il Was Through His Stomach Barbara Demick December 18, 2011

His face was partially obscured by a bandana and a baseball cap, from beneath which his long ponytail hung limply.
Rand Paul’s Fans Hate His ISIS Plan Olivia Nuzzi September 18, 2014

Historical Examples

But let us be pathetic—so get out your bandana, and prepare to blow your nose most touchingly.
The Cruise of the Midge (Vol. II of 2) Michael Scott

A bandana was tied across his eyes, and the men led him into the pocket of rock.
Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine

Salvador held out the cash to Raul, and mopped his face with the bandana, puffing loudly.
When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett

He wiped away with the bandana, thinking that thus he concealed his emotions.
Terry Charles Goff Thomson

He wiped his face with his bandana handkerchief as he spoke, for it was wet with the sweat that ran trickling down his cheeks.
Within the Capes Howard Pyle

His rough hair was braided into a queue and tied back with a bandana.
Strange Stories of the Great River Abbie Johnston Grosvenor

McCoy cried involuntarily, mopping his face with a bandana handkerchief.
South Sea Tales Jack London

a large silk or cotton handkerchief or neckerchief

also often bandanna, 1752, from Hindi bandhnu, a method of dyeing, from Sanskrit badhnati “binds” (because the cloth is tied like modern tie-dye), from same PIE root as band (n.1). Etymologically, the colors and spots are what makes it a bandana.


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