Know why cattywampus was trending last week?


[ban-ter] /ˈbæn tər/
an exchange of light, playful, teasing remarks; good-natured raillery.
verb (used with object)
to address with banter; chaff.
verb (used without object)
to use banter.
Origin of banter
1660-70; origin uncertain
Related forms
banterer, noun
banteringly, adverb
outbanter, verb (used with object)
unbantering, adjective
unbanteringly, adverb
1. badinage, joking, jesting, pleasantry, persiflage. 2. tease, twit; ridicule, deride, mock. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for bantering
  • Once he was on the field with them, tossing the ball and bantering with the players.
  • It's no longer a bantering process of thinking and living out loud.
  • He maintains that bantering tone until he finds himself far too embattled for kidding around.
  • Even on its bantering surface, the play takes a few turns into the peculiar.
  • There was some bantering back and forth concerning how to beat the traffic at shift's end.
  • And in developing this calculator tool there was a fair amount of bantering back and forth about how to set this thing up.
  • These same complaints, in bantering fashion, have emerged in my meetings with him.
  • Several small boys were bantering each other by walking on the trestle.
British Dictionary definitions for bantering


to speak to or tease lightly or jokingly
light, teasing, or joking language or repartee
Derived Forms
banterer, noun
Word Origin
C17: of unknown origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for bantering



1670s, origin uncertain; said by Swift to be a word from London street slang. Related: Bantered; bantering. The noun is from 1680s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for banter

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for bantering

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for bantering