Definition of bandit in US English:


nounPlural bandits, Plural banditti

  • 1A robber or outlaw belonging to a gang and typically operating in an isolated or lawless area.

    ‘the bandit produced a weapon and demanded money’
    • ‘He deserts from the army, and joins her gang of smugglers / bandits as an outlaw.’
    • ‘When they finally got used to things enough to settle into small villages, they decided they needed protectors to save them from the outlaws and bandits that roamed the lawless land.’
    • ‘For example, victims were more likely to be white or Latino and were more often accused of being horse thieves, bandits, or outlaws.’
    • ‘Jolo, about 600 miles south of Manila, is a refuge for armed gangs, bandits and pirates.’
    • ‘The still extensive forests, swamps, and reed-edged lakes provided cover for gangs of bandits, robbers, and deserters.’
    • ‘Certainly some people are pleased - the bandits, robbers and rapists are having a field day.’
    • ‘In one version the bandits and their boss join the imperial forces and from then on fight robbers and bandits in the name of law and order.’
    • ‘First it could be bandits or highway robbers or second it could be another of your rabbit friends.’
    • ‘It seems that the road to Yusuichin was a lawless area infested with bandits and very dangerous.’
    • ‘Despite what romantic notions your kind has invented we are criminals, bandits and outlaws.’
    • ‘However, the bandits transmitted that there were no other bandits in the target area, and we were not painting any contacts over the target with our own radars.’
    • ‘The British Foreign Office was advising travellers to avoid the country while the stretch from Bam to Pakistan was dogged with marauding gangs of bandits.’
    • ‘On Saturday, thousands of enraged citizens attacked a gang of alleged bandits, accusing them of robbing a man who was in town from the US visiting relatives.’
    • ‘Most importantly of all for the car-jackers, gunmen, bandits and muggers of Iraq, it removes your sense of fear.’
    • ‘He was kidnapped in October by a gang of bandits called the Pentagon Gang.’
    • ‘Initial reports had said the kidnappers belonged to a gang of bandits seeking the release of their leaders and two other colleagues arrested recently.’
    • ‘Tales and legends dealt with the doings of kings, contests between knights and dragons, and the exploits of ancient robbers and bandits as well as with the lives of saints.’
    • ‘The Abu Sayyaf claims to seek an independent Muslim state in the southern Philippines, but the government characterizes it as a gang of bandits making money from kidnappings and robberies.’
    • ‘Scholars commonly describe these Mexican outlaws as ‘social bandits.’’
    • ‘I followed Ir-Xieng's evil-looking gaze towards the group of bandits and robbers, all whom were looking quite nervous.’
    robber, raider, mugger
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1military slang An enemy aircraft.
      • ‘At that moment I saw the two Thunderbolts flying ahead of them and I reported bandits approaching.’
      • ‘Both pilots begin to focus on the bandit, and both begin flying their best Basic Fighter Maneuvers while clearing their flight paths.’
      • ‘My tail gunner called out another two bandits coming in again in trail from the low six o'clock position.’
      • ‘If the two fighters begin to converge while attacking a bandit, the yielding pilot must alter course to preserve the 500-foot bubble.’
      • ‘I was so fixated on the bandit and turning my aircraft that the altimeter fell out of my crosscheck.’


  • make out like a bandit

    • Profit greatly from an activity.

      • ‘However, he must be right because he is making out like a bandit with his home entertainment systems - €18,000 each and he has bookings until October.’
      • ‘Therefore, the cost and availability of capital falls dramatically in the protected sector, leading to overinvestment, falling yields, cushioned risk and someone making out like a bandit.’
      • ‘Detroit made out like a bandit in the new tax bill, and the environmental lobby is fuming.’
      • ‘Using this method, and these numbers, the buyer would be making out like a bandit, getting a 50% return on his investment.’
      • ‘For that matter, they're worth more than yours so you're making out like a bandit.’
      • ‘If he does manage to invade Saudi, Kuwait, Oman, etc., and cuts supply in order to maximize his profit, Russia will make out like a bandit.’
      • ‘Between holiday gifts and birthday presents, you've made out like a bandit, so why don't you give something back?’
      • ‘Whatever the reason, you make out like a bandit in the short run, but you have problems in the long run.’
      • ‘On the other side, if your are making payments based on the CPI, you are making out like a bandit.’
      • ‘His perky blonde daughter was making out like a bandit; he was impressed by her level of sophistication.’
      • ‘And I make out like a bandit, because I get to ‘stand beside’ fabulous people - and be identified with their Great Work!’
      • ‘But Rivera, who refused requests to speak with City Journal, made out like a bandit.’
      • ‘Of all the nifty gifts I received for Christmas, an iPod, a Sonicare toothbrush, a digital photo printer - I know, I made out like a bandit - the most interesting present of all was the hatchet my dad gave me.’


Late 16th century: from Italian bandito, ‘banned’, past participle of bandire ‘to ban’.