banana

[buh-nan-uh]
noun
1.
a tropical plant of the genus Musa, certain species of which are cultivated for their nutritious fruit. Compare banana family.
2.
the fruit, especially that of M. paradisiaca, with yellow or reddish rind.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Spanish < Portuguese (perhaps via Sp); akin to various words for banana or plantain in WAfr languages (e.g., Wolof, Malinke banana, Vai (Mande language of Liberia) bana), but ultimate source and direction of borrowing uncertain

banana, plantain.
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World English Dictionary
banana (bəˈnɑːnə)
 
n
1.  any of several tropical and subtropical herbaceous treelike plants of the musaceous genus Musa, esp M. sapientum, a widely cultivated species propagated from suckers and having hanging clusters of edible fruit
2.  Compare plantain the crescent-shaped fruit of any of these plants
 
[C16: from Spanish or Portuguese, of African origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

banana
1590s, borrowed by Sp. or Port. from a W. African word, possibly Wolof banana. The plant introduced to the New World from Africa, 1516. Top banana, second banana, etc. are 1950s, from show business slang use of banana for "comedian, especially in a burlesque show." Banana split first attested 1920. Banana
oil "nonsense" is slang from c.1910.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

banana definition


  1. n.
    an American of East Asian descent who acts too much like a Caucasian. (The person is yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Patterned on oreo. See also apple. Rude and derogatory.) : Stop acting like such a banana!
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
BANANA
build absolutely nothing anywhere near anybody
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

banana

In addition to the idiom beginning with banana, also see drive someone crazy (bananas); go bananas; top banana.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Most of us have no idea what it costs to stand up for workplace democracy in
  this brave new banana republic.
The same goes for workers on the big banana plantations.
But a new study shows that banana peels can remove metal contamination from
  river water.
Banana trees have these tightly coiled leaves coming up, and then the banana
  flowers lean down over that.
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