Definition of banshee in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbanSHē/


(In Irish legend) a female spirit whose wailing warns of an impending death in a house: the little girl dropped her ice cream and began to howl like a banshee [as modifier]: a horrible banshee wail
More example sentences
  • The good folk of Ireland quail in their beds when they hear the banshee wail of the Irish Postie.
  • Harry and Dolly have been in and out like Swiss cuckoos, demanding I open the door the instant the rain has stopped and the wind dropped, then wailing like banshees when things got bad again.
  • I croaked, woken from my recurrent dream of loading reams of information onto the computer, by a banshee wail that went on and on, somewhere in the very near vicinity.


Late 17th century: from Irish bean sídhe, from Old Irish ben síde 'woman of the fairies'.

  • A banshee in Irish legend is a female spirit who wails a warning of an imminent death in a house; the word is ultimately from Old Irish ben síde ‘woman of the fairies’.

Words that rhyme with banshee


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ban·shee

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