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a baluster.
Sometimes, banisters. the balustrade of a staircase.
Contemporary Examples

“I saw one man, he got tired, and he went over to the banister and he jumped off and killed himself,” she says.
The Haunted Symbol of New Orleans Nicole LaPorte August 27, 2010

Historical Examples

With one hand she grasped the banister and ascended the stairs.
Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories Edited by Julian Hawthorne

“Well, it shall not rest where it is,” she added, tapping the banister with her yellow fingers.
Boyhood Leo Tolstoy

Tom Sedley halted close by the banister for orders, depositing his luggage beside him.
The Tenants of Malory Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

On a banister post stood a tallow candle which guttered in the draft.
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

Convulsively grasping the banister with both hands, his broad shoulders formed a mighty buttress against the pressing flood.
The Man-Wolf and Other Tales Emile Erckmann and Alexandre Chatrian

She ran half-way down the stairs, and peeped round the banister.
Under the Greenwood Tree Thomas Hardy

Both porches, but especially the side porch he remembered so well, were rotten and broken; only the banister remained.
Resurrection Leo Tolstoy

It is so long since you descended these steps, and there is no banister—you will fall.
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine – Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845 Various

Behind, to the right, a door with brown portières, affording a view of a vestibule and banister.
Fifty Contemporary One-Act Plays Various


1660s, unexplained corruption of baluster. As late as 1830 condemned as “vulgar,” it is now accepted. Surname Bannister is from Old French banastre “basket,” hence, “basket-maker.”


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