an exchange of light, playful, teasing remarks; good-natured raillery.
to address with banter; chaff.
to use banter.
Contemporary Examples

The show records for over two hours, a tiny bit of which is willy-waving and “banter” and the rest NEWS.
Conrad Black Against the Media, Ctd. Justin Green October 23, 2012

He tried hard to make the morning banter work with Curry, to the point that some colleagues told him to stop faking it.
Matt Lauer’s Bruising Year After Ann Curry’s Ouster Devastated the ‘Today’ Show Howard Kurtz March 10, 2013

And yet, despite the banter, the crux of the issue is the feasibility of it all.
IVF for Just $300 Could Be a Reality Soon Randi Hutter Epstein August 30, 2013

Nevertheless, a little of this sort of banter goes a long way.
Polanski and Jarmusch at Cannes Richard Porton May 25, 2013

Grade: B-…light on revelations, heavy on banter, still a fun way to pass an hour.
Piers Morgan Report Card Shannon Donnelly January 20, 2011

Historical Examples

Nay, she throws aside the cowl entirely, and by her natural bright humor tries to banter him into acquiescence.
Studies in Medival Life and Literature Edward Tompkins McLaughlin

He raised his eyes to hers; and nodded with an air of banter that was charming.
Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit Charles Dickens

He revels in an interchange of banter and repartee which makes her eyes sparkle and his pulses beat the faster.
The Etiquette of Engagement and Marriage G. R. M. Devereux

Mrs. Garth’s banter was not calculated to outlast this kind of assault.
The Shadow of a Crime Hall Caine

The time for banter had passed; they fought grimly and silently.
The Puppet Crown Harold MacGrath

to speak to or tease lightly or jokingly
light, teasing, or joking language or repartee

1670s, origin uncertain; said by Swift to be a word from London street slang. Related: Bantered; bantering. The noun is from 1680s.


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  • Banting

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