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Syllabification: ba·nan·a
Pronunciation: /bəˈnanə

Definition of banana in English:


1A long curved fruit that grows in clusters and has soft pulpy flesh and yellow skin when ripe.
Example sentences
  • Towers started a fruit farm, growing bananas and avocados.
  • Her eyes widened when she saw the bright orange pumpkins, the ripe yellow bananas, silks with colors that she had never before seen.
  • Farmers grow corn, cassava, peanuts, bananas, and citrus fruits for their own consumption.
2 (also banana plant or banana tree) The tropical and subtropical treelike plant that bears this fruit. It has very large leaves and resembles a palm, but lacks a woody trunk.
  • Genus Musa, family Musaceae: several species, in particular M. sapientum
Example sentences
  • Here, people cultivate the ensete plant, which looks like a banana tree, but its trunk pulp is prepared and eaten.
  • I heard of one gardener in North Carolina who protected his banana plant in his front yard by surrounding the plant with bags and bags of leaves.
  • Vivienne's smile turned wistful and she turned to snap a picture of sunlight filtering through the leaves of a banana tree.


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(bananas) informal Insane or extremely silly: he’s beginning to think I’m bananas
More example sentences
  • The place was bananas, whipping between techno, '90s dance, booty, drum & bass and of course Joe Jackson, while Luv continued to show how versatile he can be with a hard thumping acid jump-off.
  • We did check out the summer jam that happened out there, which is free to the city, so that was bananas.
  • The whole thing is bananas but I didn't attempt to clear my name as that would have meant staying on for several months more.


late 16th century: via Portuguese or Spanish from Mande.


go bananas

informal Go insane: Roy’s customers think the council has gone bananas
More example sentences
  • Have they all gone bananas at the Banana Warehouse in Piccadilly, York?
  • And back in his old stomping grounds of Graz the politicians went bananas.
  • A Burnley headteacher has gone bananas and accused the Government of letting down needy children by leaving them out of a scheme to provide pupils with free fruit.
1.1Rave; cheer wildly: I have never had a product that people went so bananas over
More example sentences
  • There were terrific audiences - they just went bananas.
  • Sure, we all said, and went bananas destroying documents which had been sitting on our desks for months, but which were probably quite important in hindsight.
  • Even under normal circumstances, badgers are famously good excavators, but at Stonehenge, where the ground is a happy mix of chalk and soft earth, they've gone bananas.
1.1Become extremely angry or excited: she went bananas when I said I was going to leave the job
More example sentences
  • Sections of the farming community are going bananas about quarantine today.
  • I never really got close to executing the plan because the market was pretty much going bananas over the low mortgage rates.
  • The Polynesian grappler immediately went bananas and came after me, but I slipped into the locker room, shut the door, and locked it.

second banana

informal The second most important person in an organization or activity.
Example sentences
  • Gira's originals play second banana, occupying the record's back third.
  • This longtime second banana is finally a leader for the improving Thrashers.
  • They are the stars, and they're going to talk with SHOWBIZ TONIGHT about their breakout roles and what it's like to play second banana to a great ape.

top banana

informal The most important person in an organization or activity.
Example sentences
  • We're going to be looking at the top banana, the big kahuna, the cream of the crop.
  • TJ, the top banana of the organisation, the big cheese if you like, will be hosting an open day.
  • Impressively, if royalty impresses you, it bore the ER royal crest and contained the top banana's first invitation to Buckingham Palace for a press briefing on the impending Golden Jubilee celebrations.

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