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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ lighthearted and amusing banter
▪ At first the other orderlies had merely seized upon it as an excuse for extra banter.
▪ But his banter was a way of distracting attention from the issue at hand.
▪ Closetting their hurt in quiet worship, salty banter.
▪ Employees stayed late every night to drink from the open bar and banter about advertising concepts with their mentor.
▪ He usually leaves most of his talking for the court, where he likes to hound opponents with defiant banter.
▪ I was impressed with this ribald inter-office banter.
▪ The good-natured banter between them excluded Marie.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Banter \Ban"ter\, n. The act of bantering; joking or jesting; humorous or good-humored raillery; pleasantry.

Part banter, part affection.


Banter \Ban"ter\ (b[a^]n"t[~e]r), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bantered (b[a^]n"t[~e]rd); p. pr. & vb. n. Bantering.] [Prob. corrupted fr. F. badiner to joke, or perh. fr. E. bandy to beat to and fro. See Badinage, and cf. Barter fr. OF. barater.]

  1. To address playful good-natured ridicule to, -- the person addressed, or something pertaining to him, being the subject of the jesting; to rally; as, he bantered me about my credulity.

    Hag-ridden by my own fancy all night, and then bantered on my haggard looks the next day.
    --W. Irving.

  2. To jest about; to ridicule in speaking of, as some trait, habit, characteristic, and the like. [Archaic]

    If they banter your regularity, order, and love of study, banter in return their neglect of them.

  3. To delude or trick, -- esp. by way of jest. [Obs.]

    We diverted ourselves with bantering several poor scholars with hopes of being at least his lordship's chaplain.
    --De Foe.

  4. To challenge or defy to a match. [Colloq. Southern and Western U. S.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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


n. Good-humoured, playful, typically spontaneous conversation. vb. 1 (context intransitive English) To engage in banter or playful conversation. 2 (context intransitive English) To play or do something amusing. 3 (context transitive English) To tease (someone) mildly. 4 (context transitive English) To joke about; to ridicule (a trait, habit, etc.). 5 (context transitive English) To delude or trick; to play a prank upon. 6 (context transitive US Southern and Western colloquial English) To challenge to a match.

  1. n. light teasing repartee [syn: raillery, give-and-take, backchat]

  2. v. be silly or tease one another; "After we relaxed, we just kidded around" [syn: kid, chaff, jolly, josh]

  1. redirect Conversation#Banter
Banter (radio show)

Banter is a radio programme that is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in the UK, starring Andrew Collins and Richard Herring. The pilot and the first 2 series were broadcast from August 2005 to November 2006, and a third series was broadcast in April and May 2008. There have been 19 half-hour episodes so far. The programme normally takes the form of invited guests naming their "top threes" in a given category.

The series was devised by Tim Barber and is produced for Radio 4 by Avalon. A pilot for a television version was recorded in October 2011 with team captains Russell Howard and Chris Addison.

Usage examples of "banter".

Gilwyn listened to the banter, unable to eat, pensively feeding Teku bits of fruit.

Virginia had long since gone to bed, and Sam Reddon, who had dropped in for dinner in the absence of his wife from the city, had left after an evening of banter and chit-chat.

A few of them chatted affably, but Seaver knew it was all harmless banter.

Even so, it was not in my heart to banter thusly, though I concealed it well enough.

Hightower knows how to present police procedure in unburdensome detail, and she is flawless at rendering the banter of working cops.

The girls disrobed at once, pausing in different stages to point proudly to their garish underthings and bantering all the while with the gaunt and dissipated old man with the shabby long white hair and slovenly white unbuttoned shirt who sat cackling lasciviously in a musty blue armchair almost in the exact center of the room and bade Nately and his companions welcome with a mirthful and sardonic formality.

Cole from the hearse, but the two had no time to exchange banter for the current swung the unsteered barge against the restraining cable and began to drag the upstream rail slowly downward.

Antony slipped out of the window while Cotyla, Cimber and Poplicola clustered around their table and continued their rowdy banter as if Antony were still a part of it.

The lights and the voices from the decks merged in friendly banter and the crew of an East Indiaman loaded the last of the cargo that had been piled on the quayside.

I had become, without any wilful malice on her part, an eye-sore to her and the butt of her bantering jokes, which my sensitiveness exaggerated greatly.

Finished with banter, Prex reached beneath a table, drew out a large coil of paper, and unrolled it.

Creslin swallows, realizing he has never seen, never experienced, such banter.

The rest of Alpha Company had decided not to participate in this particular firefight and were hunched down, smoking cigarettes, eating C rations, bantering and bartering with the civilians.

I watched him as he sat eating, quiet and easy and friendly, exchanging banter with old Mac. Only his eyes reflected the mood that was still boiling inside him.

Sonya even found herself resenting the easy banter that had sprung up between her and Melvin LaVett.