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

He was coming downstairs with quaking legs; his face was ashen white, and he leaned heavily on the banisters.
Nana, The Miller’s Daughter, Captain Burle, Death of Olivier Becaille Emile Zola

The girl, under a spell of the Dead Man’s will, came out to the banisters.
The Return of Peter Grimm David Belasco

Lindsay closed the door behind him without replying, and half-way down the stairs her voice appealed to him over the banisters.
The Path of a Star Mrs. Everard Cotes (AKA Sara Jeannette Duncan)

It sounds just like—like—oh, like sliding down the banisters.
Jewel Clara Louise Burnham

Maxfield stopped, hesitatingly, with his hand on the banisters at the top of the landing.
A Charming Fellow, Volume II (of 3) Frances Eleanor Trollope

Daisy saw her feebly ascend the stairs, clutching the banisters.
A Coin of Edward VII Fergus Hume

I could not wait till he had reached me, but called out over the banisters, ‘Well?
Alas! Rhoda Broughton

His little daughter was standing up there with one hand on the banisters.
Five Tales John Galsworthy

Myra commenced mounting the stairs, but turned on the fifth step and hung over the banisters to smile at him.
The Mistress of Shenstone Florence L. Barclay

Dick and Marjorie hurried down and leaned over the banisters too.
Dick, Marjorie and Fidge G. E. Farrow

plural noun
the railing and supporting balusters on a staircase; balustrade

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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