1 [band]
a company of persons or, sometimes, animals or things, joined, acting, or functioning together; aggregation; party; troop: a band of protesters.
a group of instrumentalists playing music of a specialized type: rock band; calypso band; mariachi band.
a musical group, usually employing brass, percussion, and often woodwind instruments, that plays especially for marching or open-air performances.
a division of a nomadic tribe; a group of individuals who move and camp together and subsist by hunting and gathering.
a group of persons living outside the law: a renegade band.
verb (used with object)
to unite in a troop, company, or confederacy.
verb (used without object)
to unite; confederate (often followed by together ): They banded together to oust the chairman.
to beat the band, Informal. energetically; abundantly: It rained all day to beat the band.

1480–90; < Middle French bande < Italian banda; cognate with Late Latin bandum < Germanic; akin to Gothic bandwa standard, band2, band3, bend1, bond1

1. gang, group; body; set; society, association, assembly. See company. Unabridged


2 [band]
a thin, flat strip of some material for binding, confining, trimming, protecting, etc.: a band on each bunch of watercress.
a fillet, belt, or strap: a band for the hair; a band for connecting pulleys.
a stripe, as of color or decorative work.
a strip of paper or other material serving as a label: a cigar band.
a plain or simply styled ring, without mounted gems or the like: a thin gold band on his finger.
(on a long-playing phonograph record) one of a set of grooves in which sound has been recorded, separated from an adjacent set or sets by grooves without recorded sound.
bands, Geneva bands.
a flat collar commonly worn by men and women in the 17th century in western Europe.
Also called frequency band, wave band. Radio and Television. a specific range of frequencies, especially a set of radio frequencies, as HF, VHF, and UHF.
Also called energy band. Physics. a closely spaced group of energy levels of electrons in a solid.
Computers. one or more tracks or channels on a magnetic drum.
Dentistry. a strip of thin metal encircling a tooth, usually for anchoring an orthodontic apparatus.
Anatomy, Zoology. a ribbonlike or cordlike structure encircling, binding, or connecting a part or parts.
(in handbound books) one of several cords of hemp or flax handsewn across the back of the collated signatures of a book to provide added strength.
verb (used with object)
to mark, decorate, or furnish with a band or bands.

1480–90; < Middle French; Old French bende < Germanic; compare Old High German binta fillet. See bind, band1

bander, noun
bandless, adjective


3 [band]
noun Archaic.
Usually, bands. articles for binding the person or the limbs; shackles; manacles; fetters.
an obligation; bond: the nuptial bands.

1100–50; late Old English < Old Norse band; cognate with Old Saxon, Old Frisian band, Old High German bant; akin to Sanskrit bandha-. See band1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To band
World English Dictionary
band1 (bænd)
1.  a company of people having a common purpose; group: a band of outlaws
2.  a group of musicians playing either brass and percussion instruments only (brass band) or brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments (concert band or military band)
3.  a group of musicians who play popular music, jazz, etc, often for dancing
4.  a group of instrumentalists generally; orchestra
5.  (Canadian) a formally recognized group of Canadian Indians on a reserve
6.  anthropol a division of a tribe; a family group or camp group
7.  (US), (Canadian) a flock or herd
8.  (usually foll by together) to unite; assemble
[C15: from French bande probably from Old Provençal banda of Germanic origin; compare Gothic bandwa sign, banner]

band2 (bænd)
1.  a thin flat strip of some material, used esp to encircle objects and hold them together: a rubber band
2.  a.  a strip of fabric or other material used as an ornament or distinguishing mark, or to reinforce clothing
 b.  (in combination): waistband; hairband; hatband
3.  See also chromosome band a stripe of contrasting colour or texture
4.  a driving belt in machinery
5.  a range of values that are close or related in number, degree, or quality
6.  a.  physics a range of frequencies or wavelengths between two limits
 b.  radio such a range allocated to a particular broadcasting station or service
7.  short for energy band
8.  computing one or more tracks on a magnetic disk or drum
9.  anatomy any structure resembling a ribbon or cord that connects, encircles, or binds different parts
10.  the cords to which the folded sheets of a book are sewn
11.  a thin layer or seam of ore
12.  architect a strip of flat panelling, such as a fascia or plinth, usually attached to a wall
13.  a large white collar, sometimes edged with lace, worn in the 17th century
14.  either of a pair of hanging extensions of the collar, forming part of academic, legal, or (formerly) clerical dress
15.  a ring for the finger (esp in phrases such as wedding band, band of gold, etc)
16.  to fasten or mark with a band
17.  (US), (Canadian) See ring to ring (a bird)
[C15: from Old French bende, of Germanic origin; compare Old High German binda fillet; see band³]

band3 (bænd)
bond bond an archaic word for bond
[C13: from Old Norse band; related to Old High German bant fetter; see bend1, bond]

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

"a flat strip," also "something that binds," a merger of two words, ultimately from the same source. In the sense "that by which someone or something is bound," it is attested from 1126, from O.N. band "thin strip that ties or constrains," from P.Gmc. *bindan (related to Mod.Eng. bend and bind), from
PIE *bendh- "to bind" (cf. Goth bandi "that which binds; Skt. bandhah "a tying, bandage," source of bandana; M.Ir. bainna "bracelet"). Most of the fig. senses of this word have passed into bond (q.v.), which originally was a phonetic variant of band. The meaning "a flat strip" (late 14c.) is from O.Fr. bande "strip, edge, side," via O.N.Fr. bende, from O.H.G. binda, from P.Gmc. *bindan (see above). In M.E., this was distinguished by the spelling bande, but since the loss of the final -e the words have fully merged. Meaning "broad stripe of color" is from 1470; the electronics sense of "range of frequencies or wavelengths" is from 1922. The O.N.Fr. form was retained in heraldic bend.

"an organized group," late 15c., from M.Fr. bande , traceable to P.Gmc. root of band (1), probably via a band of cloth worn as a mark of identification by a group of soldiers or others (cf. Gothic bandwa "a sign"). The extension to "group of musicians" is c.1660, originally
musicians attached to a regiment of the army. To beat the band (1897) is to make enough noise to drown it out, hence to exceed everything.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

band (bānd)

  1. An appliance or a part of an apparatus that encircles or binds a part of the body.

  2. A cordlike tissue that connects or that holds bodily structures together.

  3. A chromatically, structurally, or functionally differentiated strip or stripe in or on an organism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
band   (bānd)  Pronunciation Key 
A specific range of electromagnetic wavelengths or frequencies, as those used in radio broadcasting.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see on the bandwagon; to beat the band.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
The long rows of silent people in chairs, watching with eyes that see not while the patient band tangles the air with music.
It seems that an ever increasing band of people lack the perspective to know where his or her suppositions have authority.
He joins a college rock band and offers inept fatherly advice to younger
But the industry can no longer rely on getting the price of an album as a
  reward for backing a band.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature