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[ban-dit] /ˈbæn dɪt/
noun, plural bandits or (Rare) banditti
[ban-dit-ee] /bænˈdɪt i/ (Show IPA)
a robber, especially a member of a gang or marauding band.
an outlaw or highwayman.
  1. a person who takes unfair advantage of others, as a merchant who overcharges; swindler; cheat.
  2. a vendor, cab driver, etc., who operates a business or works without a required license or permit, and without observing the usual rules or practices.
Military Informal. an enemy aircraft, especially an attacking fighter.
make out like a bandit, Slang. to be extremely successful; profit greatly:
The early investors in the company have made out like bandits.
Origin of bandit
1585-95; earlier bandetto, plural banditti < Italian banditi outlaws, plural of bandito proscribed, past participle of bandire banish, exile, announce publicly < Gothic bandwjan to make a sign, indicate (cf. band1) with v. suffix -ire < Latin -īre
1, 2. brigand, desperado. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for banditti
Historical Examples
  • Several wild-looking men, who if they were not banditti might easily be mistaken for such, were seated on logs about the fire.

    The Bible in Spain George Borrow
  • "The road is infested with banditti," growled out the padre.

    The Daltons, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever
  • That these banditti were in a starving condition was well-known.

  • As our host said to us this morning: 'The gendarmes, they go, but the banditti, they stay.'

    The Nabob, Volume 1 (of 2) Alphonse Daudet
  • Now, then, we shall hear whether he has discovered the banditti.

    The Bravo of Venice Heinrich Zschokke
  • For the accomplishment of this part of their plan they relied on the daggers of the banditti.

    The Bravo of Venice Heinrich Zschokke
  • From two to three hundred banditti attacked the populace, who quickly recovered themselves and easily defeated the assailants.

  • By this action the banditti were deprived of their two most valorous chiefs.

  • Nor me any thing but the rough cottagers and banditti men; but, never mind, my bass solo will do the trick.

    The English Spy Bernard Blackmantle
  • What are you doing with this gang of cutthroats and banditti?

    Ride Proud, Rebel! Andre Alice Norton
British Dictionary definitions for banditti


noun (pl) -dits, -ditti (-ˈdɪtɪ)
a robber, esp a member of an armed gang; brigand
Derived Forms
banditry, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Italian bandito, literally: banished man, from bandire to proscribe, from bando edict, ban1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for banditti



1590s, from Italian bandito (plural banditi) "outlaw," past participle of bandire "proscribe, banish," from Vulgar Latin *bannire "to proclaim, proscribe," from Proto-Germanic *bann (see ban (v.)). *Bannire (or its Frankish cognate *bannjan) in Old French became banir-, which, with lengthened stem, became English banish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for banditti



  1. An enemy aircraft (WWII)
  2. An aggressive homosexual who often resorts to violence (1970s+ Prison)

Related Terms

like a bandit, make out like a bandit, one-arm bandit

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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