Definition of bania in English:



  • (in India) a trader or merchant.

    • ‘Also indispensable in the making of Indian Opinion was Gandhi's nephew Chhaganlal, who was assigned a bania's duties of keeping the accounts and collecting the advertisements.’
    • ‘Both communities were providing stiff competition to the patels and banias of Gujarat.’
    • ‘The campsite favourably located next to the bania boasted bird- and frog-song, accompanied by the splashing of a gentle brook.’
    • ‘Look at the subject: the milkman, the barber, the priest, the unbiquitous paan vendor, the artisan, the crafty bania.’
    • ‘As the hill stations grew, there was an expansion in trade, and it was often the much-detested banias from the plains who rushed in to avail themselves of new opportunities.’


From Hindi baniyā, from Sanskrit vāṇija.