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or bans

[banz] /bænz/
noun, (used with a plural verb) Ecclesiastical
notice of an intended marriage, given three times in the parish church of each of the betrothed.
any public announcement of a proposed marriage, either verbal or written and made in a church or by church officials.
Origin of banns
1540-50; variant of bans, plural of ban2
Can be confused
banns, bans. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for banns
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Selma, my whilom Finnish friend, was having her banns published.

    The Confession of a Fool August Strindberg
  • Hadn't you better fix the wedding-day and take out the banns, now that your hand is in?

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • By grace of a reluctantly granted dispensation there was but one publication of the banns.

    What Is Man? And Other Stories Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • "Sophie Bunch came last night to put up her banns," he said.

    The Hero William Somerset Maugham
  • "But the banns have not been published," said the bride's father.

    Stories of Robin Hood Bertha E. Bush
  • "Th' baans (banns) 'll be cried in the church next Sunday," said Betsey.

    The Birthright Joseph Hocking
  • In those days there was no marrying in the church, no priest, no banns.

  • It is strange to think that Peter did not alight in the church and forbid the banns.

    Peter and Wendy James Matthew Barrie
  • I'll put the banns up to-morrow—no; I'll get a special license.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills Charles Garvice
British Dictionary definitions for banns


plural noun
the public declaration of an intended marriage, usually formally announced on three successive Sundays in the parish churches of both the betrothed
forbid the banns, to raise an objection to a marriage announced in this way
Word Origin
C14: plural of bann proclamation; see 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 banns

see bann.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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