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[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.
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Examples from the Web for bantering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Dont be so suspicious, responded Marjorie, adopting Jerrys bantering tone.

  • Now and then, he laughed in a merry way, as if he were bantering her out of something.

    To be Read at Dusk Charles Dickens
  • The Duke of Hereward sought out his hostess, and entered into a bantering conversation with her.

    The Lost Lady of Lone E.D.E.N. Southworth
  • This bantering is most pointed if we assume that Rosaline was dark rather than fair.

    The Man Shakespeare Frank Harris
  • He dropped the battered pencil case into it, and his bantering tone changed instantly.

    Nell, of Shorne Mills Charles Garvice
  • Gilbert's voice had changed from its bantering note to a note of resolve.

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • Yet, despite his bantering tone, it was easy to see that he took an equal pleasure in the meeting.

    Count Bunker J. Storer Clouston
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
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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
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