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Banian



banyan.
Also called banyan tree. an East Indian fig tree, Ficus benghalensis, of the mulberry family, having branches that send out adventitious roots to the ground and sometimes cause the tree to spread over a wide area.
Also, bania, baniya.

a Hindu trader or merchant of a particular caste, the rules of which forbid eating flesh.
a loose shirt, jacket, or gown.

Historical Examples

To this banian all the Company’s servants are made subject; they are bound to obey all his orders, and those of his committee.
The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XII. (of XII.) Edmund Burke

They reached Fiji, went on shore, and there stood the banian tree.
The Solomon Islands and Their Natives H. B. (Henry Brougham) Guppy

On banian or fish days, our men preferred eating these roots with oil and vinegar to the best stock-fish.
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VII Robert Kerr

The banian hospital at Surat is a most remarkable institution.
An Introduction to Entomology: Vol. I (of 4) William Kirby

Breadfruit, banian, mulberry, and other barks furnished the fiber.
White Shadows in the South Seas Frederick O’Brien

Was that the banian tree of which he had been warned by the old Byragee at Surroori?
Tara Philip Meadows Taylor

Under that banian tree lay my dead comrade—poor Shaw; I would have given a fortune to have had him by my side at this time.
How I Found Livingstone Henry M. Stanley

The slopes on either hand are wooded, that of banian to much the greatest extent.
Herzegovina George Arbuthnot

banian days, days when no meat is served out to ships’ crews.
The Nuttall Encyclopaedia Edited by Rev. James Wood

After praying they went and sat under a banian tree, and all day long they had nothing to eat or drink.
Deccan Nursery Tales Charles Augustus Kincaid

noun
a variant spelling of banyan
noun
a moraceous tree, Ficus benghalensis, of tropical India and the East Indies, having aerial roots that grow down into the soil forming additional trunks
a member of the Hindu merchant caste of N and W India
a loose-fitting shirt, jacket, or robe, worn originally in India
n.

“Indian fig tree,” 1630s, so called in reference to a tree on the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf under which the Hindu merchants known as banians had built a pagoda. From Sanskrit vanija “merchant.”

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