The Alternative English Dictionary

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Colourful extracts from Wiktionary. Slang, vulgarities, profanities, slurs, interjections, colloquialisms and more.


ballbag etymology ball + bag
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, informal, vulgar) The scrotum.
ball bag
noun: {{head}}
  1. (slang) Scrotum.
ball-breaker Alternative forms: ballbreaker
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, vulgar) A person or task which is excessively demanding or punishing. My slave-driving boss expects me to work over the weekend. What a ball-breaker!
  • Indicates that a person is determined to psychologically emasculate a male, not literally to crush his testicles.
Synonyms: ball-buster, taskmaster
related terms:
  • ball-break (common inflected form breaking my balls )
  • ball-breaking adjective
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar) Ball-breaker.
ballbusting etymology ball + busting
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The beating or kicking of the male genital, a fetish with some masochist and sadist.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal, of women) Having a violent or aggressive attitude towards men.
baller etymology {{-er}}. pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) One who plays basketball; a basketballer.
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. (AAVE, slang) One who lives an extravagant, money-driven lifestyle. Did you see that car? He’s such a baller.
ballerina etymology Borrowed from Italian ballerina. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˌbæləɹˈiːnə/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A female ballet dancer.
  2. The star female ballet performer in the company.
  3. (less common, sometimes, derogatory) A male ballet dancer.
  4. A ballet flat shoe.
Although normally used to refer only to females, it can be used of males although this is sometimes done so derogatorily. danseur or ballet dancer is the normal term for men.
ball hog
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (sports, idiom, informal) A player who keeps the ball to themselves, rather than pass it
ballin' etymology balling (referring to the high pay of professional basketballers)
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (AAVE, slang) Having an ostentatious wealthy lifestyle.
    • 2007, Edd McNair, Turning Point Now this niggah home and gettin' it, rockin the new tinted-out Q45, new kicks and throwbacks every day, draped in jewels. The niggah was ballin'.
    • Meek Mill (Robert Williams), I'm Me (song) My niggas is ballin' / You niggas is hatin' / Cameras everywhere I go.
related terms:
  • baller
ballistic etymology From Latin ballista. pronunciation
  • /bəˈlɪst.ɪk/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (not comparable) Or relating to ballistics.
  2. (comparable) Or relating to projectile moving under their own momentum, air drag, gravity and sometimes rocket power
  3. (comparable, slang) Very angry. When he heard him lie about it, he went ballistic.
Synonyms: ballistical
ball of the thumb
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (anatomy, informal) The fleshy portion, opposite the nail, of the first segment (first phalange) of the human thumb.
  2. (anatomy) The most fleshy portion of the palm of the human hand, located adjacent to the second joint of the thumb: the thenar eminence.
balloon knot etymology By analogy to the appearance of the knot in a balloon. pronunciation {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, vulgar, idiomatic) The anus.
    • 2005, "Do we need a new theme song?", York Daily Record, 28 July 2005: The Bloodhound Gang said Pennsylvania's official song "sucks mad balloon knot . . . making the Keystone State look as lame as one of the Dakotas."
    • 2007, Craig P. Dixon, "Social Commentary 139", South Coast Today, 7 December 2007: I know what you're thinking, but there's nothing gay about getting naked, bending over in front of your guido buddy, and offering up your balloon knot to him for a healthy waxing. There's nothing gay about a smooth anus. Right?
    • 2009, John Webster, "Sexing up Whedon's characters", Xtra!, 15 January 2009: Vanilla Lies is full of Joss Whedon characters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly) all porned. See Spike’s balloon knot, Angel’s schlong and Zander’s wanton posing.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
ballpoint etymology ball + point
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (colloquial) A ballpoint pen, biro. Have you seen my ballpoint? I need to sign this form and a felt tip won't make carbons.
ballpoint pen {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: ball-point pen
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A pen, similar in size and shape to a pencil, having an internal chamber filled with a viscous, quick-drying ink that is dispensed at the tip during use by the rolling action of a metal sphere (around 0.7 mm to 1 mm in diameter).
Synonyms: biro (Britain, Australia, New Zealand), ball pen, ballpen
balls pronunciation
  • /bɔːlz/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{head}}
  1. plural of ball Can you believe he can juggle six balls at once?
  2. (slang) The testicles. Dude, he got hit in the balls!
  3. (uncountable, countable, slang) Bravery, courage, chutzpah, or brazen. He must have a lot of balls to talk to his boss that way. He's the guy with the big balls in that group. You do not have the balls to go through with that. {{rfquotek}}
  4. (British, slang) Rubbish, nonsense. That's a load of balls.
  5. (UK, Ireland, slang) A balls-up; a botch job. Don't make a balls of it!
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-third-person singular of ball
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (slang) Very. Intensifier. It is balls cold out there.
noun: {{head}}
  1. (slang) Scrotum.
ballsack etymology ball + sack
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, informal, vulgar) The scrotum.
Synonyms: nutsack
balls deep etymology The vulgar phrase is derived from a state during the act of copulation in which further penetration by the male is prevented by the physical limitations of the testicles, which reflects the fullest extent to which the action may occur.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) extremely; to the fullest extent possible Although he was hesitant to pick up James Joyce, he soon fell in love with Dubliners and was balls deep into Ulysses
Synonyms: extremely, completely
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (vulgar) With the penis fully immersed in an orifice, more often the anus or vagina than the mouth. I like to fuck balls-deep. If they can't take it all it's not worth the time.
  2. Fully committed to a situation. I'm balls deep into this essay, no turning back.
balls of steel
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) courage, audacity
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (US, idiomatic, slang) Extreme, extremely great
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (US, idiomatic, slang) With great abandon.
  2. (US, idiomatic, slang) At the fastest possible speed.
balls to the wall etymology First attested in the 1960s in the context of aviation. Probably coined by pilots whose throttle levers had round, ball-like tops{{,}} and for whom putting the "balls to the wall" (the firewall of the aircraft) meant making the aircraft fly as quickly as possible. Probably not, as sometimes suggested, from railroad jargon.David Wilton, ''Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends'': The second of these alleged railroad phrases is the phrase ''balls to the wall'', meaning [making] an all-out-effort. Like ''balling the jack'', this phrase is often thought to have arisen from railroad work. The speed of the governor on train engines had round, metal weights at the end of the arms. As the speed increased, the spinning balls would rise — being perpendicular to the walls at maximum speed. But there is no evidence to support this story. No use of the phrase is known to exist prior to the mid-1960s, and all the early cites are from military aviation, not railroads.
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (US, idiomatic, slang) Full throttle; (at) maximum speed. {{defdate}}
  2. (US, idiomatic, slang) (With) maximum effort or commitment. {{defdate}}
    • 2006, , Testimony before the US Senate Homeland Security Committee: I told the staff...the day before the hurricane struck that I expected them to cut every piece of red tape, do everything they could, that it was balls to the wall, that I didn't want to hear anybody say that we couldn't do anything—to do everything they humanly could to respond.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (vulgar) An objectionable person. Charlie, you ballsucker!
  2. (literally) One who sucks the testicles of another.
balls up
etymology 1
  • from ball up
verb: balls up
  1. en-third-person singular of ball up
etymology 2
  • from balls + up
verb: {{en-verb}} (phrasal verb)
  1. (British, NZ, vulgar) To do something badly. To ruin a job. He really ballsed up that paint work. It'll have to be redone!
balls-up etymology Balls in this sense refers to testicles.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, British, vulgar) something which becomes muddle or botch in some way. I was making a cake but when I added too much sugar, it became the balls-up of my cooking career.
Synonyms: ballup, cock up, mess up
ballsy pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /ˈbɔlzi/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (vulgar, slang) Tough and courageous; having balls.
ball up
verb: {{head}}
  1. (transitive) To crush into a ball shape. She balled up her paper in frustration.
  2. (intransitive) to coil up into a ball.
  3. (intransitive) To hunch over and pull in one's arms and legs. Her son balls up in fear whenever there is a storm.
  4. (slang, transitive) to ruin or botch
Synonyms: balls up
balmy etymology From balm + y. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbɑː.mi/
  • {{rhymes}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Producing balm.
  2. Soothing or fragrant.
  3. Mild and pleasant.
  4. (informal) Foolish; slightly crazy or mad; eccentric.
related terms:
  • (foolish) barmy (UK)
etymology 1 Modification of bologna. pronunciation
  • (UK) /bəˈləʊni/
  • (GenAm) /bəˈloʊni/
  • {{rhymes}}
Alternative forms: boloney, bologna
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (countable) A type of smoke sausage; bologna.
Synonyms: see bologna
etymology 2 Perhaps from the Polari slang word balonie. Alternatively, perhaps simply from bologna, possibly used as a minced oath for bull. Alternative forms: balonie (UK), boloney
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (uncountable, chiefly, US, slang) Nonsense.
Sometimes used in rhyme phony baloney. Synonyms: See also .
baloney pony
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang, vulgar) penis
    • 1994, , Glamourpuss, Dutton (1994), page 179: We read the first scene — Bernadette telling Paul that she's taken a vow of chastity before he rakishly persuades her to ride the baloney pony in the attic.
Synonyms: See also .
  • {{seemoreCites}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Polari and British, slang) alternative form of baloney nonsense.
Baltimoron etymology {{blend}}.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (derogatory) Someone from Baltimore, Maryland.
bam pronunciation
  • {{rhymes}}
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. Representing a loud noise or heavy impact. The wind knocked the tree over last night. Bam! It nearly scared me to death.
  2. Representing a sudden or abrupt occurrence. She said she dumped him. Now — bam! — they're back together.
Synonyms: bang, blam, pow, wham
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Scotland, slang) ned, bampot.
  2. (dated) An imposition; a cheat; a hoax. {{rfquotek}}I’ll break a lamp, bully a con stable, bam a justice, or bilk a boxkeeper with any man in the liberties of Westminster.
David Garrick, The Plays of David Garrick: A Complete Collection of the Social Satires, French Adaptations, Pantomimes, Christmas and Musical Plays, Preludes, Interludes, and Burlesques, ed. Harry William Pedicord and Fredrick Louis Bergmann, vol. 1 (Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 1980), 93, http//
    • Prof. Wilson To relieve the tedium he kept plying them with all manner of bams.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (1811, slang, archaic) To impose on (someone) by a falsehood; to cheat. {{rfquotek}}
  2. (slang, archaic) To jeer or make fun of.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. abbreviation of bare-arse minimum
  • ABM, amb, B. M. A., BMA, MAb, MBA
bamboo {{wikipedia}} etymology From Dutch bamboe, from Portuguese bambu, from Malay bambu, from Kannada ಬಂಬು 〈bambu〉. pronunciation
  • /bæmˈbu/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A grass of the Poaceae family, characterised by its woody, hollow, round, straight, jointed stem, all of which are in the {{taxlink}} tribe.
  2. The wood of the bamboo plant as a material or cane.
  3. a didgeridoo
  4. (slang) A British military or Honourable East India Company employee, who spent so much time in Indonesia, India, or Malaysia that they never went back home.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Made of the wood of the bamboo.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To flog with a bamboo cane.
bambooey etymology bamboo + ey
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (informal) Resembling or characteristic of bamboo.
    • Sylvia Plath Old Percy, with fixed, mad blue eye and a rusty scythe, was attacking the "Japanese creeper" bambooey plant which had shot up green in the alley by the drive.
    • 1990, Ray Salisbury, Sweet Thursday There were rows and rows of shelves of books from the floor to the ceiling that came out between the windows and in the gloomy bit at the end of each row they'd put a bambooey-looking table with a jungly green plant …
bamboozle etymology Derivative of 17th century vernacular "bam" (to trick, to con), which is a derivative of "bam" in noun use (fraudster, cheat). Further etymology unknown. pronunciation
  • /bæm.ˈbuː.zəl/
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (informal) To con, defraud, trick, to make a fool of, to humbug or impose on someone.
    • 1851, , , “Look here, friend,” said I, “if you have anything important to tell us, out with it; but if you are only trying to bamboozle us, you are mistaken in your game; that’s all I have to say.”
bamfoozle etymology Variant of bamboozle, possibly influenced by confuse; see Cassell's Dictionary of Slang.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (colloquial) To confound; to perplex.
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
    • {{quote-book }}
bamma etymology Perhaps from Alabama.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (AAVE, slang, derogatory) An unstylish rural person; a hick.
    • 2008, "A Blessing in Disguise", A Real Black Woman is the Closest Thing to God (page 44) A lot of dudes that I knew at that time use to think that guys from Maryland was bammas but I didn't sleep on nobody because even a bamma can pull a trigger. I always knew that even if a guy was from cotton ball land, he could still do damage.
    • 2011, Stan Long, Black Bird Medley: The Transformation of a Gangster (page 16) Black didn't like them much. He said to me one day, “Stan, why do you hang around them bammas?” Bamma meant “country” or “slow” or something of that nature.
    • 2012, Larry Moon Jr, Drama City (page 151) “Man, there's a bamma that just came home from jail trying to intimidate and extort my youngins.”
bammy pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbami/
etymology 1 Apparently a dialectal form of barmy.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (Scotland, slang) Crazy.
    • 1992, James Kelman, "Let the Wind Blow High Let the Wind Blow Low", Some Recent Attacks, p. 86: Those who persist are shown up as perverse, slightly bammy, crackpots – or occasionally as unpatriotic.
    • 2009, Frankie Boyle, My Shit Life So Far, HarperCollins 2010, p. 183: He was quite a bammy Glasgow guy who had hit on the idea of playing a Tolkienesque character who could turn things to mud with his magical finger.
etymology 2
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Jamaican cassava flatbread.
bamp pronunciation
  • /bæmp/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Geordie, pejorative) An idiotic and ill-mannered person.
Synonyms: fuckwit, idiot, imbecile, twat
bampot Alternative forms: barmpot pronunciation
  • /ˈbæm.pɒt/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Scotland, slang, pejorative) Idiot; an objectionable and foolish person.
  • This term is often used affectionately among close friends.
ban pronunciation
  • /bæn/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English bannen, from Old English bannan, from Proto-Germanic *bannaną, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰa-. Cognate with Dutch bannen, German bannen, Swedish banna, Armenian բան 〈ban〉 and perhaps Albanian banoj. See also banal, abandon.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive, obsolete) To summon; call out.
  2. (transitive) To anathematise; pronounce an ecclesiastical curse upon; place under a ban.
  3. (transitive) To curse; execrate.
    • {{rfquotek}}
    • {{rfquotek}}
  4. (transitive) To prohibit; interdict; proscribe; forbid or block from participation.
    • {{rfquotek}}
    • {{quote-news}}
    • {{quote-magazine}}
    exampleBare feet are banned in this establishment.
  5. (intransitive) To curse; utter curses or maledictions.
Synonyms: forbid, prohibit, disallow
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. prohibition
    • Milton under ban to touch
  2. A public proclamation or edict; a summons by public proclamation. Chiefly, in early use, a summons to arms. Bans is common and ordinary amongst the Feudists, and signifies a proclamation, or any public notice.
  3. The gathering of the (French) king's vassals for war; the whole body of vassals so assembled, or liable to be summoned; originally, the same as arrière-ban: in the 16th c., French usage created a distinction between ban and arrière-ban, for which see the latter word. He has sent abroad to assemble his ban and arriere ban. The Ban and the Arrierban are met armed in the field to choose a king. France was at such a Pinch..that they call'd their Ban and Arriere Ban, the assembling whereof had been long discussed, and in a manner antiquated. The ban was sometimes convoked, that is, the possessors of the fiefs were called upon for military services.'' The act of calling together the vassals in armed array, was entitled ‘convoking the ban.
  4. (obsolete) A curse or anathema.
    • Shakespeare Hecate's ban
  5. A pecuniary mulct or penalty laid upon a delinquent for offending against a ban, such as a mulct paid to a bishop by one guilty of sacrilege or other crimes.
related terms:
  • black ban
  • total fire ban
etymology 2 Borrowing from Romanian of uncertain origin, perhaps from Serbo-Croatian ban
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A subdivision of currency, equal to a 1/100th of a Romanian leu
  2. A subdivision of currency, equal to a 1/100th of a Moldavian леу 〈leu〉
etymology 3 From Banburismus; coined by .
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A unit measuring information or entropy based on base-ten logarithm, rather than the base-two logarithms that define the bit.
Synonyms: dit, hartley
etymology 4 From zls (compare Serbo-Croatian bȃn), itself a borrowing from a trk language, probably from the Avar word , a derivation of the Proto-Turkic *bāj-.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A title used in several states in central and south-eastern Europe between the 7th century and the 20th century.
  • ABN
  • nab, NAB
  • NBA
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rare, informal) Banana.
banana {{wikipedia}} etymology From Wolof banaana, via Spanish or Portuguese. pronunciation
  • (RP) /bəˈnɑː.nə/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /bəˈnæ.nə/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An elongated curved fruit, which grows in bunches, and has a sweet creamy flesh and a smooth yellow skin.
  2. The tropical treelike plant which bears clusters of bananas. The plant, of the genus Musa, has large, elongated leaves and is related to the plantain.
  3. (uncountable) A yellow colour, like that of a banana's skin. {{color panel}}
  4. (mildly, pejorative, slang, ethnic slur) A person of Asian descent, especially a Chinese American, who has assimilated into Western culture or married a Caucasian (from the "yellow" outside and "white" inside). Compare coconut.
Synonyms: (Asian assimilated into Western culture) jook-sing, Twinkie
  • (Asian assimilated into Western culture) egg (Western assimilated into Asian culture)
coordinate terms:
  • (Asian assimilated into Western culture) coconut
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Curved like a banana, especially of a ball in flight.
    • 2001, Rayne Barton, The Green Hills Golf Chronicles, page 155, ISBN 0738847917. Even the lowly banana ball, the bane of so many weekenders, sometimes can be exactly right, as in this case.
    • 2002, Andrew Collins, Guild of Honor, page 53, ISBN 1403371490. He played the fading, low-banana shot as planned, and the ball whistled left of the oak tree and between the pines.
    • 2006, Richard Witzig, The Global Art of Soccer, page 247, ISBN 0977668800. [...]Bernd Schneider closed the scoring in injury-time with a 23 meter free-kick banana shot into the upper-right corner.
  • bunch
  • hand
banana bond
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, inorganic chemistry) An extended covalent bond found in borane in which a hydrogen atom is shared by two boron atoms; a form of three-center two-electron bond
banana hammock
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A male thong.
  2. (slang) A pair of swim briefs.
    • 2008, Mario Acevedo, The Undead Kama Sutra, EOS (2008), ISBN 9780060833282, page 105: She had wanted me to wear Speedos – an orange banana hammock – but I had put on camouflaged cutoffs and a tank top.
    • 2010, Josh Berk, The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, Knopf (2010), ISBN 9780375856990, page 19: I should go to the other extreme and don a Speedo. Might it be awesome to see my classmates' expressions as I strut out sporting a banana hammock?
    • 2012, Carter Quinn, The Way Back, Dreamspinner Press (2012), ISBN 9781613725269, page 10: I'd acquiesced gracefully, wondering wickedly what it would take to get him to ditch the board shorts for a banana hammock. The man would look mouthwateringly delicious in a Speedo.
Synonyms: (swim briefs) See also .
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (Australia, slang) Queensland.
    • 1896, , Hungerford, While the Billy Boils: First Series, reprinted in [no date scanned] Poems and Stories by Henry Lawson: The Originals, Hayes Barton Press, page 30, The post office is in New South Wales, and the police-barracks in Bananaland.
    • 2007, Pip Wilson, Faces in the Street: Louisa and Henry Lawson and the Castlereagh Street Push, page 145, But it's ages before the news gets up north to Bananaland that the ASL has passed more motions against agitators than you can poke a stick at, especially if they agitate amongst the unemployed.
    • 2010, Graham Seal, Great Australian Stories: Legends, Yarns and Tall Tales, page 216, The recompense ‘James’ required from the Government was three miles depth of frontage along the whole route; but the representatives of the people in Bananaland thought the offer was a bit one-sided, and declined to negotiate.
banana money etymology From the prominent illustration of a banana tree on some series of the notes.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) World War II Japanese invasion money.
banana note etymology From the prominent illustration of a banana tree on some series of the notes.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) a note of Japanese invasion money.
banana republic {{wikipedia}} etymology Coined by American author in his 1904 book of short stories, "Cabbages and Kings", set in the fictional "Anchuria", which was based on his 1896-97 stay in Honduras.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (politics, idiomatic, pejorative) A small country, especially one in Central America or the West Indies, that is dependent on a single export commodity (traditionally bananas) and that has a corrupt, dictatorial government.
bananery pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbə.nɑːn.ə.ɹi/
etymology 1 banana + ery. Compare orangery.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (rare) A banana plantation.
etymology 2 For banana + y, where final -ay would look like a single vowel as in tray.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (childish) Of, or relating to banana, or their flavour.
Banbury story of a cock and a bull
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (idiomatic, obsolete, slang) A roundabout, nonsensical story.
    • Connie Lane, The Viscount's Bawdy Bargain, 2003, page 56, “Nor was she uncaring, mean-spirited or likely to go about spreading a Banbury story of a cock and a bull.”
Synonyms: Banbury tale
band-aid {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: bandaid, Band-Aid pronunciation
  • (US) /ˈbændeɪd/
etymology From the trademark Band-Aid, registered in 1924 by Johnson & Johnson. The sense "temporary solution" was first used in 1968 in Canada.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An adhesive bandage, a small piece of fabric or plastic that may be stuck to the skin in order to temporarily cover a small wound.
  2. A temporary or makeshift solution to a problem, created ad hoc (often used with a negative connotation of a lack of foresight)
    • 1968, United Church Observer, n 15 (March), p 36: It was another of those political band-aids patted over a minor sore.
Synonyms: (small adhesive bandage): adhesive bandage, plaster (UK), sticking plaster (UK), Elastoplast (UK), (makeshift solution): hack
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To apply an adhesive bandage. As a school nurse, Pat was used to bandaiding lots of scraped knees and elbows.
  2. To apply a makeshift fix; to jury-rig. Rather than fix the code, we just band-aided the problem by hiding the error message.
bandhood etymology band + hood
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The state of being a musical band.
    • {{quote-news}}
    • 1996, SPIN (volume 12, number 3, June 1996, page 64) Traditionalists turned rockers turned rocking traditionalists, Los Lobos have forged strong family ties that have succored them for more than two decades of bandhood.
Bandini etymology From the name of the -based Bandini Fertilizer Co., which sells manure, i.e. cow excrement ("bullshit").
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) Nonsense, bullshit.
Synonyms: See also .
bandog etymology From band + dog. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbandɒɡ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (now rare) A dog that has been tied up; a mastiff or other kind of guard dog.
    • 1982, Lawrence Durrell, Constance, Faber & Faber 2004 (Avignon Quintet), p. 934: The guns on the fortress responded, but the small calibre made them sound as if they were yapping like bandogs while the bombers bayed and gave tongue like hounds in cry.
  2. Specifically, a type of large, ferocious dog bred by crossing American pit bull terrier with Neapolitan mastiff.
  3. (obsolete, slang, cant) A bailiff or prison guard.
  • Bogdan
bandwidth {{wikipedia}} etymology band + width pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbændwɪdθ/, /ˈbændwɪtθ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The width, usually measured in hertz, of a frequency band.
    • 2010 October 30, Jim Giles, Jammed!, in , But now is a good time to be bargaining for bandwidth, as the switch from analogue to digital television is freeing up space.
  2. Of a signal, the width of the smallest frequency band within which the signal can fit
  3. (networking) The rate of data flow in digital networks typically measured in bits per second
  4. (informal) The capacity, energy or time required I think it's a worthy project, but I just don't have the bandwidth right now.
bang {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • {{enPR}}, /bæŋ(ɡ)/
  • (also) (US) {{enPR}}, /beɪŋ/
  • {{rhymes}}
etymology 1 From Middle English *bangen, from Old English *bangian, *bangan or Old Norse banga; both from Proto-Germanic *bang-, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰen-. Cognate with Icelandic banga, Old Swedish bånga, Danish banke, Low German bangen, bangeln, Danish bengel, West Frisian bingel, bongel, Dutch bengel, German Bengel, German bungen. Alternative forms: bangue (obsolete)
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A sudden percussive noise. When he struck it with a hammer, there was a loud bang.
  2. A strike upon an object causing such a noise.
  3. An explosion.
  4. (US, especially plural) A fringe of hair cut across the forehead. Tiffany has long hair and bangs.
    • W. D. Howells his hair cut in front like a young lady's bang
    • 1902, “She was not much to look at. Her red hair hung in an uncurled bang over her forehead”, Barbara Baynton, Squeaker's Mate, (variously reprinted, including in The Penguin Century of Australian Stories, ed. Carmel Bird, 2000, ISBN 0-670-89233-5)
  5. (US) The symbol !, known as an exclamation point. An e-mail address with an ! is called a bang path.
  6. (mathematics) A factorial, in mathematics, because the factorial of n is often written as n!
  7. (figuratively) An act of sexual intercourse.
  8. An offbeat figure typical of reggae songs and played on guitar and piano.
  9. (slang, mining) An explosive product. Load the bang into the hole.
  10. (slang, US, Boston area) An abrupt left turn.
Synonyms: strike, blow, explosion, (hair cut) fringe, bangs, (the symbol !) exclamation point, exclamation mark
  • (abrupt left turn) hang
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To make sudden loud noises, and often repeatedly, especially by exploding or hitting something. exampleThe fireworks banged away all through the night. exampleStop banging on the door. I heard you the first time! exampleMy head was banging after drinking all night at the concert.
  2. (ambitransitive) To hit hard. exampleHe banged the door shut. exampleDavid and Mary banged into each other.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616) The desperate tempest hath so banged the Turks.
    • 1922, Michael Arlen, [ “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days], 3/19/2 , “Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house ; he was not at all a good fisherman, but one must do something ; one generally, however, banged a ball with a squash-racket against a wall.”
  3. (slang, figuratively, ambitransitive) To engage in sexual intercourse. exampleWe can hear the couple banging upstairs.
    • {{quote-video}}
    • 1972, Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather (film): Moe Greene: He was banging cocktail waitresses two at a time!
  4. (with "in") To hammer or to hit anything hard. exampleHold the picture while I bang in this nail.
  5. (transitive) To cut squarely across, as the tail of a horse, or a person's forelock; to cut (the hair).
    • The Century Magazine His hair banged even with his eyebrows.
Synonyms: (which sense?) nail
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Right, directly. The passenger door was bang against the garage wall.
    • {{quote-news}}
  2. Precisely. He arrived bang on time.
  3. With a sudden impact. Distracted, he ran bang into the opening door.
interjection: {{en-interj}}
  1. a verbal emulation of a sudden percussive sound He pointed his finger at her like a gun and said, "Bang!"
etymology 2 Shortened from Bang's disease.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (in the plural) Brucellosis, a bacterial disease
  • BGAN
bangable etymology bang + able pronunciation
  • /ˈbæŋ(ɡ)əbəɫ/
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (slang) Sexually attractive.
    • 1966, Wirt Williams, The Trojans And here, I am struck — no, awed — by the fact that she is extremely handsome woman who looks decidedly under fifty and most decidedly bangable.
    • 2002, Michael Levy, Twenties Talk: The Unpaved Road of Life After College She was decent looking, definitely bangable, but certainly not my priority.
Synonyms: fuckable
banger pronunciation
  • /ˈbæŋ(ɡ)ə(ɹ)/ {{rhymes}}
etymology bang + er; the sausages were so called because of the risk of explosion if not carefully cooked, due to excessive amounts of water stored inside the sausages to increase their mass and saleability.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (British): A firework that makes a bang.
  2. (British, slang) A woman's breast.
  3. (British, NZ, slang) A sausage. bangers and mash
  4. (slang) An old, worn-out car.
  5. (US, slang) A cylinder in a car. He drives a little four-banger to work.
  6. (US, slang) A member of a gang, shortened version of the word gangbanger.
Synonyms: (sausage) snag (Australia), (car) bucket, beater, hooptie, jalopy, wreck
  • graben
banging pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • (US) /ˈbæŋ.ɪŋ/
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. present participle of bang
    • He was banging cocktail waitresses two at a time! - Alex Rocco in the movie
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The action of the verb to bang. The banging of the hammers could be heard from several streets away.
adjective: banging (also bangin')
  1. (slang) Excellent, brilliant, very exciting, top, great. Wow, what a banging haircut! It looks terrific!
  2. (colloquial, dated) Huge; great in size. {{rfquotek}}
{{Webster 1913}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (UK, informal) Part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets with a large Bangladeshi population.
bangtail etymology From bang + tail.===Etymology=== {{rfe}} Alternative forms: bang tail, bang-tail
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A tail of a horse or cow, allowed to grow out and then trim horizontally so as to form a tassel; a horse or cow having such a tail.
    • 1851, Turning Out a Bagman: A Legend of Brighton Downs, in , , Albert Smith Bentley's Miscellany, Volume XXIX, [http//|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&ei=2-7ATrWoKaHumAXO9siiBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false page 259], Two lean, ewe-necked, clipt chestnuts, tucked up in the ribs, with hard work and bad feeding, but with such flowing bang-tails as at once stamped them in the eyes of our friends as “ out-and-out ” thorough-breds—were led up and down by John.…The bang-tails, no doubt, supposing themselves out for their usual “airing,” put themselves in the regular side-long position, and struck at once into a sort of hectic canter ; a particular movement, peculiar to Brighton bang-tails, and adapted to the most innocent equestrian.
    • 1903, Tom Collins (), , 2004, [http//|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&ei=8v_ATo3TNsjxmAWGyN2KBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false page 68], "And did you see a dark chestnut horse; bang tail; star and snip; white hind feet; saddle and bridle on?" I asked.
    • 1913, John Galsworthy, The Dark Flower, [http//|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&ei=zhbBTsv7E4-VmQW1y4C0BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bangtail|bangtails%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false page 244], Lennan held the black horse — a bizarre little beast, all fire and whipcord, with a skin like satin, liquid eyes, very straight hocks, and a thin bangtail reaching down to them.
    • 2005, Cynthia Queen, The Major's Renegade, [http//|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&ei=kfrATsXBK8nKmQXl1JC5BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bangtail|bangtails%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false page 127], Once we get the herd we can set up relays to keep the bangtails movin' as we go.
  2. (US) A racehorse.
    • 1934, , City Editor, 1999, [http//|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&ei=MS7BTuDeGoubmQWsufi_BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false page 99], “Eddie!” whinnied Daley, the distraught worshipper of the bang-tails. “Eddie! Phar Lap is dead!”
    • 1937, The American Magazine, Volume 124, [http//|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&dq=%22bangtail|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&ei=YRPBTvHyGq72mAWJ5oS6BA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y page 52], Americans bet $5,000,000,000 a year on the galloping bangtails.
    • 1983 March, Cincinnati Magazine, [http//|bangtails%22+-intitle:%22%22&hl=en&ei=DSTBTrnIPK_KmAWorunDBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22bangtail|bangtails%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22&f=false page 43], If you happen to be out on the far east side between April 23 and September 5, with $10 burning a hole in your pocket, hie yourself out to River Downs Race Track, 6301 Kellogg Avenue, and bet on the bangtails.
  3. (slang) A prostitute.
  4. (marketing) An envelope with a perforated flap on which promotional material is printed; the flap on such an envelope.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To shear off the hair horizontally at the end of a cow or horse's tail.
  • ablating
banhammer {{wikipedia}} etymology ban + hammer
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Internet, internet slang, often, humorous) The power of a sysop to block a user from participating at a website. "Matt "Positron" Miller prepares his radioactive banhammer against mission architect abusers."
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (Internet, internet slang, transitive) To block a user from participating at a website. "Poison welcomes back The Eternally Banhammered." "Re: BanHammered The mod caught you. Does that mean permabanned?."
baniak Alternative forms: banyak, buniak, bunyak etymology From Ukrainian баняк 〈banâk〉.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (humorous pejorative slang, chiefly italicized) A fool.
    • 1981: Andrew Suknaski and Dennis Cooley, In the name of Narid: new poems, Porcupine's Quill, p  114: ‘baniak baniak you ole fucker! | you’re tighter than hogan’s goat!’ | baniak only smiles | a perfect smile [footnote] baniak: Ukrainian for cooking pot.
    • 1986: Janice Kulyk Keefer, The Paris-Napoli express, Oberon Press, p 78: What woman could ever consent to be his wife, to lose all her dignity and position with a bunyak like that?”
    • 1987: Janice Kulyk Keefer, “Unseen, the cuckoo sings at dawn”, in Jars Balan ed., Yarmarok: Ukrainian writing in Canada since the Second World War, Edmonton: CIUS Press, p 103: “What did I keep telling you, Oleh—you baniak, you elephant's arsehole?
    • 1987: Michael John Nimchuk, “The day my grandad died”, in Jars Balan ed., Yarmarok: Ukrainian writing in Canada since the Second World War, Edmonton: CIUS Press, p 172: No . . . no. She doesn't give damn for you. Thinks Ziggy good boy but stupid. A baniak a real woman would leave first chance.
    • 1988: Levi Dronyk, “The puck artist”, in Doug Beardsley ed., The rocket, the flower, the hammer, and me, Vancouver: Polestar Books, pp 161: Baniak, eh? ¶Literally, a baniak is a pot; in the vernacular, it becomes a “dummy.” Among Ukrainians it's used in a self-deprecating context, or, as with Sammy, an endearment. If “the English” used the word, or the malicious “bohunk,” which amounted to calling a Ukrainian a “nigger,” to address us, a fistfight usually resulted. “Baniak, quiet, sshh,” Sammy frowned. “Why you have to be so noisy? How come?”
    • 1995: Michael Ewanchuk, Reflections and reminiscences: Ukrainians in Canada, 1892–1992, M. Ewanchuk, p 36: As someone said, that even one with a university degree, BA, could be called “Baniak”, or an empty pot, if that individual isolated himself from the community to which he naturally belonged.
    • 1995: Nika Rylski, “Just a kommedia”, in Aviva Ravel ed., Canadian mosaic: 6 plays, Dundurn Press, p 130: God. What a Banyak . . .
Usually italicized as a foreign term not fully naturalized in English.
banjax Alternative forms: banjack, bandjax etymology unknown, perhaps originally Dublin slang.Oxford English Dictionary, 2013. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbæn.d͡ʒæks/, /bænˈd͡ʒæks/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (British, originally, Irish, slang) To ruin or destroy.
    • For more quotes, see the
    • 1928, Eimar O'Duffy, The Spacious Adventures of the Man in the Street, Macmillan, p. 370, Indeed, it seemed that the army was hopelessly banjaxed.
    • 1970 (2001 reprint), , A Pagan Place, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, p. 91, Emma had suggested that you hide, said your presence might banjax her position.
    • 2006, , Between the Bridge and the River, Chronicle Books, p. 252, Fraser was looking at the flat, wet countryside and thinking about the French policeman who had banjaxed him with the truncheon.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (chiefly, Irish, informal) A mess or undesirable situation made as a result of incompetence.
    • 1922, Seán O'Casey, Juno and the Paycock (play), I'm tellin' you the scholar, Bentham, made a banjax o' th' Will.
banjaxed pronunciation
  • (Ireland) /ˈbæn.dʒækst/
  • {{audio}}
verb: {{head}}
  1. en-past of banjax
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. (British and Ireland, slang) Broken, ruined, shattered; confounded.
    • 1939, Flann O'Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds: Here is his black heart sitting there as large as life in the middle of the pulp of his banjaxed corpse.
    • 2001, Edna O'Brien, Night: Then it got banjaxed, at a supper party to which he brought me.
    • 2011, Will Self, "The frowniest spot on Earth", London Review of Books, XXXIII.9: Lindsay again waxes approving over Ballard’s hymn to the banjaxed landscape of the Heathrow environs, with its choked arterial roads, light industrial units and warehousing entrepots.
  2. (British and Ireland, slang) Tired, sleepy, cream crackered. I'm completely banjaxed!
banjo {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) {{enPR}}, /ˈbæn.dʒəʊ/
  • (US) /ˈbæn.dʒoʊ/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (musical instruments) A stringed musical instrument with a round body and fretted neck, played by pluck or strum the strings. I come from Alabama with my banjo on my knee ...
  2. (slang) An object shaped like a banjo, especially a frying pan or a shovel.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To play the banjo
  2. (slang, British) To beat; to knock down
    • 1989, Susan S. M. Edwards, Policing 'domestic' Violence: Women, the Law and the State, page 95 Admitting the assault, the husband said that he had given her a 'banjoing' but that she had asked for it.
    • 1998, "Fergie's world just gets Madar."(Sport), Sunday Mailm Jan 4, 1998 Madar was turfed out on a final misdemeanour of banjoing one of his teammates in training before a big game
    • 2007, "Return of Smeato, the extraordinary hero", Times Online, Jul 31, 2007 "Me and other folk were just trying to get the boot in and some other guy banjoed [decked] him”.
banjo eyes
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (North America, slang) Wide-open eyes, as from being surprised or startled.
Synonyms: saucer eyes, google eyes
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (musical instruments) A four-stringed musical instrument, resembling a small banjo but tuned like a mandolin.
  2. (musical instruments, informal) A mandolin-banjo.
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) The excessive power of the bank over government
bank of mum and dad
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. (UK, humorous) One's parent, regarded as a source of financial support.
    • 2011, Alison Branagan, The Essential Guide to Business for Artists and Designers (page 87) Other sources of income, e.g. part-time job, bank of mum and dad, tax credits, etc.
    • 2013, Bridget Rosewell, Reinventing London Without the bank of mum and dad, finding the deposit is hard. Part of me thinks that this is nothing new.
    • 2015, Clive Webster, The Ship of Consolation (page 107) 'And who's going to pay?' Dad pointed out, the cash registers going crazy in his eyes. 'No doubt you're expecting to come to the Bank of Mum and Dad for a loan.'
bankruptcy {{wikipedia}} etymology bankrupt + cy pronunciation
  • /ˈbæŋkrʌptsɪ/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A legally declared or recognized condition of insolvency of a person or organization.
related terms:
  • (noun) depression, economic downturn, financial crisis, insolvency, recession
  • (noun) (figuratively) moral bankruptcy
  • (adjective) bankrupt, insolvent
  • (adjective) (slang) broke, bust, belly up
  • (adjective) (figuratively) morally bankrupt
  • (verb) (slang) go broke, go bust, go belly up
bankster etymology {{blend}} Judge has been credited with coining the term Bankster. In June 1933, his image appeared on the cover of Time magazine, seated at a US Senate table, a cigar in his mouth. Pecora’s hearings were said to have coined a new phrase, “banksters” for the finance “gangsters.” However, the word, with the same meaning, had appeared in the U.S. press at least a year and a half previous to that. The term was later used by , Belgian fascist politician and journalist, in 1937 as a pejorative term for high financiers. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbæŋkstə/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal, derogatory) A banker who is seen as criminally irresponsible, or as extorting bailout money from the taxpayers.
    • {{quote-news}}
banninate etymology Humorous extension of ban; see -ate.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (Internet slang, humorous, transitive) To ban. I got banninated from the message board!
banshee {{wikipedia}} etymology From Irish bean sí, from Old Irish ben síd, from Old Irish ben, from Proto-Celtic *benā, from Proto-Indo-European *gʷḗn 〈*gʷḗn〉 + Old Irish síd, from Proto-Celtic *sedos, *sīdos, from Proto-Indo-European *sēds, *sed-. The term entered English in 1771. pronunciation
  • {{audio}}
  • /bænˈʃiː/ or /ˈbænʃiː/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. In Irish folklore, a female spirit, usually taking the form of a woman whose mournful wail warns of an impend death.
  2. (derogatory) A noisy or ill-tempered woman.
    • 1936, , Steps Going Down, page 15: Where's this old banshee that runs the place?
  • A banshee was originally merely a fairy woman who sang a caoineadh (lament) for recently-deceased members of certain families. Translations of Irish works into English made a distinction between the banshee and other fairy folk that the original language and original stories do not seem to have, but from whence sprung the current image of the banshee.
  • has-been
bant etymology From banter, by clipping.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) banter
banter etymology 1670s as verb, 1680s as noun. The origin is unknown, possibly from London street slang;{{R:Online Etymology Dictionary}} ostensibly as + er#Etymology 7. pronunciation
  • (RP) /ˈbæntə/
  • (US) /ˈbæntɚ/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. Good-humoured, playful, typically spontaneous conversation. It seemed like I'd have to listen to her playful banter for hours.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive) To engage in banter or playful conversation.
  2. (intransitive) To play or do something amusing.
  3. (transitive) To tease (someone) mild.
    • Washington Irving Hag-ridden by my own fancy all night, and then bantered on my haggard looks the next day.
    • Charlotte Brontë Mr. Sweeting was bantered about his stature—he was a little man, a mere boy in height and breadth compared with the athletic Malone …
  4. (transitive) To joke about; to ridicule (a trait, habit, etc.).
    • Chatham If they banter your regularity, order, and love of study, banter in return their neglect of them.
  5. (transitive) To delude or trick; to play a prank upon.
    • Daniel De Foe We diverted ourselves with bantering several poor scholars with hopes of being at least his lordship's chaplain.
  6. (transitive, US, Southern and Western, colloquial) To challenge to a match.
Synonyms: (tease) kid, wind up
  • barnet, Barnet
ban-the-bomber etymology From the slogan "ban the bomb" and -er.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (informal) A supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
Bantu {{wikipedia}} etymology Xhosa bantu.
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. The largest African language family of the Niger-Congo group, spoken in much of Sub-Saharan Africa.
  2. General term for African ethnic groups speaking a Bantu language and their members.
  3. (South Africa, dated, now offensive) A black South African.
Black South Africans were at times officially called "Bantus" by the Apartheid regime. New legislation and documents from the South African government have replaced "Bantu" with "Black" due to the former word's derogatory connotations. Outside Southern Africa the term is still widely used as a term for the Bantu-speaking peoples.
  • tabun
BAP {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (sometimes, pejorative) Black American princess: an upper-class black woman with a spoiled or materialistic attitude.
bap etymology Originally Scottish English, of unknown origin. pronunciation
  • /bæp/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A soft bread roll, originally from Scotland.
  2. (British, slang, in the plural) A woman's breasts.
baptize Alternative forms: baptise etymology From Old French baptiser, batisier, from Greek baptizare, from Ancient Greek βαπτίζω 〈baptízō〉.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To sprinkle or pour water over, or to immerse in water, as a spiritual cleansing process in the rite of Christian baptism.
  2. To dedicate or christen.
  3. (1811) Of rum, brandy, or any other spirits, to dilute with water.
  4. (slang) To ensure proper burning of a joint by moistening the exterior with saliva.
Synonyms: christen
bar pronunciation
  • (British) /bɑː/
  • (US) {{enPR}}, /bɑɹ/, [bɑɹ], [bɑ˞]
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}} (in some pronunciations)
etymology 1 From Middle English barre, from Old French barre, from vl *barra, of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Old frk *bara, from Proto-Germanic *barō, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰAr-. If so, then cognate with Old High German para, bara, ofs ber, Swedish bärling, Norwegian berling, Latin forus, Russian забо́р 〈zabór〉, Ancient Greek φάρος 〈pháros〉. May well have been reinforced by existing Old English term from the same root.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A solid, more or less rigid object of metal or wood with a uniform cross-section smaller than its length. The window was protected by steel bars.
  2. (countable, uncountable, metallurgy) A solid metal object with uniform (round, square, hexagonal, octagonal or rectangular) cross-section; in the US its smallest dimension is .25 inch or greater, a piece of thinner material being called a strip. Ancient Sparta used iron bars instead of handy coins in more valuable alloy, to physically discourage the use of money. We are expecting a carload of bar tomorrow.
  3. A cuboid piece of any solid commodity. bar of chocolate bar of soap
  4. A broad shaft, or band, or stripe. a bar of light; a bar of colour
  5. A long, narrow drawn or printed rectangle, cuboid or cylinder, especially as used in a bar code or a bar chart.
  6. A diacritical mark that consists of a line drawn through a grapheme. (For example, turning A into Ⱥ.)
  7. A business license to sell alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises, or the premises themselves; public house. The street was lined with all-night bars.
  8. The counter of such a premises. Step up to the bar and order a drink.
  9. A counter, or simply a cabinet, from which alcoholic drinks are served in a private house or a hotel room.
  10. In combinations such as coffee bar, juice bar, etc., a premises or counter serving non-alcoholic drinks.
  11. An official order or pronouncement that prohibits some activity. The club has lifted its bar on women members.
  12. Anything that obstructs, hinders, or prevents; an obstruction; a barrier.
    • Dryden Must I new bars to my own joy create?
  13. (computing, whimsical, derived from fubar) A metasyntactic variable representing an unspecified entity, often the second in a series, following foo. Suppose we have two objects, foo and bar.
  14. (UK, legal) The railing surrounding the part of a courtroom in which the judge, lawyer, defendant and witness stay
  15. (legal, "the Bar", "the bar") The Bar exam, the legal licensing exam. He's studying hard to pass the Bar this time; he's failed it twice before.
  16. (legal, "the Bar", "the bar") A collective term for lawyers or the legal profession; specifically applied to barristers in some countries but including all lawyers in others.
  17. (music) A vertical line across a musical staff dividing written music into sections, typically of equal durational value.
  18. (music) One of those musical section.
  19. (sports) A horizontal pole that must be crossed in high jump and pole vault
  20. (soccer) The crossbar
    • {{quote-news}}
  21. (backgammon) The central divider between the inner and outer table of a backgammon board, where stone are placed if they are hit.
  22. An addition to a military medal, on account of a subsequent act
  23. A linear shoal landform feature within a body of water.
  24. (nautical, hydrology) A ridge or succession of ridges of sand or other substance, especially a formation extending across the mouth of a river or harbor or off a beach, and which may obstruct navigation. (FM 55-501).
  25. (heraldiccharge) One of the ordinaries in heraldry; a fess.
  26. An informal unit of measure of signal strength for a wireless device such as a cell phone. There were no bars so I didn't get your text.
  27. A city gate, in some British place names. Potter's Bar
  28. (mining) A drilling or tamping rod.
  29. (mining) A vein or dike crossing a lode.
  30. (architecture) A gatehouse of a castle or fortified town.
  31. (farriery) The part of the crust of a horse's hoof which is bent inwards towards the frog at the heel on each side, and extends into the centre of the sole.
  32. (farriery, in the plural) The space between the tusk and grinder in the upper jaw of a horse, in which the bit is placed.
Synonyms: (business licensed to sell intoxicating beverages) barroom, ginshop, pub (British), public house, tavern, (official order prohibiting some activity) ban, prohibition, (section of a staff, in music) measure, See also
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To obstruct the passage of (someone or something).
    • “"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize to-night, #*: But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light; #*: Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day, #*: Then look for me by moonlight, #*: Watch for me by moonlight, #*: I'll come to thee by moonlight, though Hell should bar the way." ”, The Highwayman , Alfred Noyes , 1906
    Our way was barred by a huge rockfall.
  2. (transitive) To prohibit. I couldn't get into the nightclub because I had been barred.
  3. (transitive) To lock or bolt with a bar. bar the door
  4. to imprint or paint with bars, to stripe
    • 1899, , , I lived in a hut in the yard, but to be out of the chaos I would sometimes get into the accountant’s office. It was built of horizontal planks, and so badly put together that, as he bent over his high desk, he was barred from neck to heels with narrow strips of sunlight.
Synonyms: (obstruct) block, hinder, obstruct, (prohibit) ban, interdict, prohibit, (lock or bolt with a bar), See also
preposition: {{en-prep}}
  1. Except, with the exception of. He invited everyone to his wedding bar his ex-wife.
  2. (horse racing) Denotes the minimum odds offered on other horses not mentioned by name. Leg At Each Corner is at 3/1, Lost My Shirt 5/1, and it's 10/1 bar.
Synonyms: apart from, barring, except, except for, excluding, other than, save
etymology 2 From Ancient Greek βάρος 〈báros〉, coined circa 1900. {{wikipedia}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A non-SI unit of pressure equal to 100,000 pascal, approximately equal to atmospheric pressure at sea level.
related terms:
  • isobar
  • ABR, ARB, bra
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A diminutive of the female given name Barbara.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A fan of the American singer Nicki Minaj, especially a female one.
    • 2012, "Forward Line", Inpress, Issue 1235, August 2012, page 14: Minaj is thrilled to be returning to her legion of Aussie Barbz this October in a brand new full-scale arena show.
    • 2012, "The year in music", Fast Forward Weekly, 27 December 2012: I’m not a Barb, but Nicki Minaj totally made me do a 180 on the whole hating-her-songs-and-general-vibe thing I had going on when I went to review her in concert.
    • 2013, "Mariah talks about Idol feud", Postnoon, 9 January 2013, page 28: Lambs and Barbz, remain calm, but Mariah Carey is once again talking about her infamous feud with Nicki Minaj.
    • {{seemoreCites}}
  • abbr , abbr.
  • Rabb
barbarian {{wikipedia}} etymology From Middle English, from Malayalam barbarinus, from Latin barbaria, from barbarus, from Ancient Greek βάρβαρος 〈bárbaros〉, onomatopoeic (mimicking foreign languages, akin to 'blah', 'blah'), cognate to Sanskrit बर्बर 〈barbara〉. pronunciation
  • (UK) /bɑː(ɹ).ˈbɛə.ɹi.ən/
  • (US) /bɑɹ.ˈbɛɹ.i.ən/
  • {{audio}}
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Relating to people, countries or custom perceived as uncivilized or inferior.
Synonyms: barbaric, barbarous
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. An uncivilized or uncultured person, originally compared to the hellenistic Greco-Roman civilisation; often associated with fighting or other such shows of strength.
  2. (derogatory) Someone from a developing country or backward culture.
  3. A warrior, clad in fur or leather, associated with sword and sorcery stories.
  4. (derogatory) A person destitute of culture; a Philistine. {{rfquotek}}
  5. A cruel, savage, brutal person; one without pity or humanity.
    • Philips Thou fell barbarian.
related terms:
  • barbarism
  • barbarity
  • barbarize
barbecue {{wikipedia}} Alternative forms: barbeque, BBQ (informal abbreviation), bar-be-que, bar-b-que (informal forms based on the abbreviation), (meat) 'cue, 'que, que (informal shortenings) etymology From Spanish barbacoa, from tnq barbakoa, the raised wooden structure the Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat. Originally “meal of roasted meat or fish”. pronunciation
  • /ˈbɑː(ɹ)bəkju/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A fireplace or pit for grilling food, typically used outdoors and traditionally employing hot charcoal as the heating medium. We cooked our food on the barbecue.
  2. A meal or event highlighted by food cooked in such an apparatus. We're having a barbecue on Saturday, and you're invited.
  3. Meat, especially pork or beef, which has been cooked in such an apparatus (i.e. smoked over indirect heat from high-smoke fuels) and then chopped up or shredded. She ordered a plate of barbecue with a side of slaw.
  4. (dated) A hog, ox, or other large animal roasted or broiled whole for a feast.
  5. A floor on which coffee bean are sun-dried.
    • 2000, Andrew Gerald Gravette, Architectural Heritage of the Caribbean, page 227: Drying the coffee beans took place in a barbecue, basically a large, flat platform, where the pulped coffee beans could be laid out and turned as they dried. Barbecues were often walled around and raised above ground level.
Synonyms: (grill) braai (South African English), buccan, compare grill, (event) braai (South African English), cookout
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. To cook food on a barbecue; to smoke it over indirect heat from high-smoke fuels.
  2. To grill.
barber {{wikipedia}} etymology From xno barbour, from Old French barbeor, from barbe, from Latin barba. pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbɑːbə/
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{wikipedia}} {{en-noun}}
  1. A person whose profession is cut (usually male) customers' hair and beard.
  2. A barber surgeon, a foot soldier specializing in treating battlefield injuries.
  3. (Canada) A storm accompanied by driving ice spicule formed from sea water, especially one occurring on the Gulf of St. Lawrence; so named from the cutting ice spicules.
Synonyms: hairdresser, hair-dresser, hairstylist, hair-stylist
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. to cut the hair or beard of (a person).
  2. (US, slang) To chatter, talk.
    • 1940, Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely, Penguin 2010, p. 29: ‘I shouldn't ought to barber with you. But when I like a guy, the ceiling's the limit.’
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. The trade of and practice of shaving and cut hair. The trades of barbering and surgery have long been linked, as evidenced by the barber's red and white striped pole. After several days in the bush, he had grown lax with his barbering and needed a good shave before he was presentable again.
  2. (informal) The practice among pet of overgroom each other, leaving bald patches. Group-housed B6 mice display barbering behavior, in which the dominant mouse in a cage selectively removes hair from its subordinate cage mates. Mice that have been barbered have large bald patches on their bodies, commonly around the head, snout, and shoulders[]
Barbie pronunciation {{wikipedia}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
proper noun: {{en-proper noun}}
  1. A diminutive of the female given name Barbara.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. A proportionally very thin, tall plastic doll figure of a woman, approximately one foot tall. she grew up playing with Barbies
  2. (informal, derogatory) A beautiful but stupid or shallow young woman.
  • Rabbie
barbie etymology From barbecue + ie. pronunciation
  • /bɑː(ɹ)bi/
  • {{rhymes}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, New Zealand, UK, informal) Short form of barbecue.
  • Rabbie
barbituate pronunciation
  • /ˌbɑɹˈbɪtʃu.ɪt/, /ˌbɑɹˈbɪt(j)u.ɪt/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (US) misspelling of barbiturate
barbiturate Alternative forms: barbituate (US, colloquial, nonstandard) etymology See barbituric. pronunciation
  • /ˌbɑː(ɹ)ˈbɪtʃəɹɪt/, /ˌbɑː(ɹ)ˈbɪtʃəɹeɪt/, ˌbɑrbɪˈt(j)ʊəɹɪt, ˌbɑrbɪˈt(j)ʊəɹeɪt
  • {{audio}}
  • (US) /ˌbɑɹˈbɪtʃu.ɪt/, /ˌbɑɹˈbɪt(j)u.ɪt/
  • {{audio}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (organic compound) Any salt or ester of barbituric acid.
  2. (pharmacology) Any of derivative of barbituric acid that act as depressant of the central nervous system and are used as sedative or hypnotic.
Barcoo rot etymology A reference to the in Queensland.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (Australia, informal) An ulcer skin condition, apparently endemic to tropical or desert climate.
    • 1917, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Journal of tropical Medicine And Hygiene, Volumes 20-21, page 228, The infection does not spread from one to another among the troops, and barcoo rot affects men living in solitude.
    • 1917, letter, British Medical Journal, Volume 1917, page 468, Colonel CJ Martin gives some observations on " barcoo rot." This is a very loosely applied term. The original "barcoo rot," as experienced by the older bushmen, was scurvy pure and simple.
    • 2009, Mike Keenan, The Shadows of Horses, page 225, Add Barcoo rot to the torment and it was little wonder some boys came down with fever. Barcoo rot is a dreaded infection in the Barcoo and Thomson watersheds and it spreads voraciously in the humid summer months.
Synonyms: desert sores, veldt sore
bardolator {{was wotd}} Alternative forms: Bardolator etymology {{blend}} pronunciation
  • (GenAm) /bɑɹˈdɑlətɚ/
  • (RP) /bɑːˈdɒlətə/
  • {{hyphenation}}
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (usually, pejorative) One who loves or worships the works of .
related terms:
  • bardolatry
bardolatry {{wikipedia}} etymology bard + latry, coined by in . pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbɑː(ɹ).dɒlətrɪi/
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (usually, pejorative) excessive or religious worship of
bare {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /bɛə(ɹ)/, /bɛː(ɹ)/, {{enPR}}
  • (US) /bɛɚ/, {{enPR}}
  • {{audio}}
  • {{rhymes}}
  • {{homophones}}
etymology 1 From Middle English bare, bar, from Old English bær, from Proto-Germanic *bazaz, from Proto-Indo-European *bʰos-. Cognate with Scots bare, bair, Saterland Frisian bar, Western Frisian baar, Dutch baar, German bar, Swedish bar, Icelandic ber, Lithuanian basas, Polish bosy.
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. Minimal; that is or are just sufficient. a bare majority
    • Addison the bare necessaries of life
  2. Naked, uncovered. Don't show your bare backside in public.
  3. Having no supplies. a room bare of furniture The cupboard was bare.
    • 2012 October 31, David M. Halbfinger, "," New York Times (retrieved 31 October 2012): Localities across New Jersey imposed curfews to prevent looting. In Monmouth, Ocean and other counties, people waited for hours for gasoline at the few stations that had electricity. Supermarket shelves were stripped bare.
  4. Having no decoration. The walls of this room are bare — why not hang some paintings on them?
  5. Having had what usually covers (something) removed. The trees were left bare after the swarm of locusts devoured all the leaves.
  6. (British, slang, not comparable) A lot or lots of. It's bare money to get in the club each time, man.
  7. With head uncovered; bareheaded.
    • Herbert When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
  8. Without anything to cover up or conceal one's thoughts or actions; open to view; exposed.
    • Milton Bare in thy guilt, how foul must thou appear!
  9. Threadbare; much worn.
    • Shakespeare It appears by their bare liveries that they live by your bare words.
Synonyms: (minimal) mere, minimal, (without a condom) , (naked) exposed, naked, nude, uncovered, undressed, (having no supplies) empty, unfurnished, unstocked, unsupplied, (having no decoration) empty, plain, unadorned, undecorated, (having had what usually covers (something) removed): despoiled, stripped, uncovered
  • (minimal) ample, plentiful, sufficient
  • (naked) covered, covered up, dressed, unexposed
  • (having no supplies) full, furnished, stocked, supplied, well-stocked
  • (having no decoration) adorn, decorate, ornate
  • (having had what usually covers (something) removed) covered
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. (British, slang) Very; significantly. This porno's bare whack, bruv.
  2. Barely.
    • The Wars of the Shannons, Allan Cole, Chris Bunch, 2009, “He finally came back to himself and asked why the furor. "Why," Lucy said, "because this is Christmas Eve. We have bare enough time to get ready for the ball, after dinner, as it is."”
    • Warprize, Elizabeth Vaughan, 2011, ““I've bare enough for these two, much less fill your belly.””
  3. Without a condom
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (‘the bare’) the surface, the (bare) skin
    • 1599, , In sad good earnest, sir, you have toucht the very bare of naked truth [...]
    • 2002, Darren Shan, Hunters of the dusk: 7: Vancha clasped the bare of my neck and squeezed amiably.
  2. Surface; body; substance.
    • Marston You have touched the very bare of naked truth.
  3. (architecture) That part of a roofing slate, shingle, tile, or metal plate, which is exposed to the weather.
etymology 2 From Old English barian.
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (transitive) To uncover; to reveal. She bared her teeth at him.
Synonyms: (uncover) expose, lay bare, reveal, show, uncover
  • (uncover) cover, cover up, hide
etymology 3 Inflected forms.
verb: {{head}}
  1. (obsolete) en-simple past of bear
    • Bible, Josh. iii. 15 The feet of the priest that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 5 And so I put thee on my shoulder and bare thee back, and here thou art in David's room, and shalt find board and bed with me as long as thou hast mind to
  • Aber, bear
adjective: {{en-adj}}
  1. bare-bottomed
  2. (informal) by extension: naked, starkers
  3. (by extension) blatant, unashamed
bareback {{wikipedia}} pronunciation
  • (UK) /ˈbɛə(ɹ)bæk/
adverb: {{en-adv}}
  1. Without a saddle. I can ride a horse bareback.
  2. (slang) Without a condom. We had sex bareback.
coordinate terms:
  • saddleback
etymology {{back-form}}
verb: {{en-verb}}
  1. (intransitive, slang) To have sex without a condom.
  2. (intransitive, slang) To have, usually male to male, anal sex without a condom.
noun: {{en-noun}}
  1. (slang) A person who engages in barebacking.

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