Definition of banyan in English:

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banyan

Pronunciation: /ˈbanyən/
Pronunciation: /ˈbanˌyan/
(also banian)

noun

(also banyan tree)
An Indian fig tree whose branches produce aerial roots that later become accessory trunks. A mature tree may cover several acres in this manner.
  • Ficus benghalensis, family Moraceae.
Example sentences
  • The monument is a massive flagpole entwined with the trunk and branches of a symbolic banyan tree forged in steel.
  • Then it scampered off up the aerial roots of a nearby banyan tree.
  • A porter stops to rest under the shade of a huge banyan tree, its trunk twisting out of the earth and its umbrella-like branches arching over a granite stairway.

Origin

Late 16th century: from Portuguese, from Gujarati vāṇiyo 'man of the trading caste', from Sanskrit. Originally denoting a Hindu trader or merchant, the term was applied by Europeans in the mid 17th century to a particular tree under which such traders had built a pagoda.

More
  • The Indian fig tree known as a banyan comes via Portuguese, from a Gujarati word for ‘a man of the trading caste’. The word originally meant a Hindu merchant, but in the mid 17th century came to be applied by Europeans to one particular tree, the Banyans' Tree, under which traders had built a pagoda.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ban·yan

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