Definition of banter in English:



  • The playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.

    ‘there was much singing and good-natured banter’
    • ‘I watched him play Federer and it was a light-hearted affair with plenty of friendly banter.’
    • ‘They continued their playful banter for a while and then were silent for a long time.’
    • ‘Pupils often emphasised that teasing was not seen as harmful, but as a part of everyday banter, often between friends.’
    • ‘At first, their banter is friendly, until Heston realizes Moore is not on his side.’
    • ‘Their playful banter was interrupted when Louis walked into the room.’
    • ‘The verbal sparring and playful banter with her is really starting to ratchet up some interesting tension.’
    • ‘For a barrel of laughs, go and see this likeable duo as they entertain and exchange banter across a farm fence.’
    • ‘After spending time in friendly, confidence-winning banter, Dave made it clear he had more on his mind.’
    • ‘He was a very cheerful character and liked nothing more than to have a bit of banter with his friends.’
    • ‘I missed my Dad a lot in the Philippines, especially our playful banter.’
    • ‘With McEwan in full flow, Watson sticks his head round the door and instigates some friendly banter.’
    • ‘The long looks and teasing banter was a thin barrier of what really lay between them.’
    • ‘Jokes and banter are exchanged and students are encouraged to loosen up.’
    • ‘So the good natured banter and dressing room style bonhomie had been shattered by a traitor in our midst.’
    • ‘As well as exchanging witty banter with Candyman Baker, David knows how to save money on clothes, eating out and pet food.’
    • ‘It was 20 minutes into the game when any prospect of good-natured banter disappeared.’
    • ‘Constant exchanges of intelligent banter and a pretty unsettling appearance hold the atmosphere to a sharp edge.’
    • ‘The friendly banter shows Hayes has succeeded in creating a dynamic corporate climate.’
    • ‘She watched as Ludmilla exchanged banter with the outcaste veteran.’
    • ‘Initially he was brought in to exchange bar room banter in Cheers.’
    repartee, raillery, ripostes, sallies, swordplay, quips, wisecracks, crosstalk, wordplay
    badinage, witty conversation, witty remarks, joking, jesting, jocularity, drollery
    bons mots
    kidding, ribbing, joshing
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  • Talk or exchange remarks in a good-humored teasing way.

    ‘the men bantered with the waitresses’
    ‘a bantering tone’
    • ‘He flirts, he likes kissing necks and shoulders, he sometimes keeps his pyjamas on, he holds hands, he banters in bed, and he makes breakfast.’
    • ‘For awhile they bantered back and forth, trading remarks and occasionally delving deeper into a conversation.’
    • ‘We joked, bantered, argued, gushed over some latest literary masterpieces.’
    • ‘He's been bantering with reporters about a variety of issues.’
    • ‘Lidia Verrecchia banters amiably as she ferries cappuccinos to her customers, who sit at Formica tables backed by art deco wood panels.’
    • ‘Five minutes later I'd sort of forgotten about it, bantering in the staffroom and discussing someone's speech therapy needs, but there it sat.’
    • ‘This involves bantering, oftentimes between two people who good-heartedly tease each other.’
    • ‘Kitty kept her tone deliberately light and bantering, but Brandon could tell that she was serious.’
    • ‘I could hear the President and Hillary bantering in the background.’
    • ‘Throughout the game, he banters with the arbitrator, the home plate umpire, subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) representing his club's interests and appealing for fair play.’
    • ‘Holding court on a sofa in a busy London hotel foyer, Kiely banters away happily, using his gravelly laugh for punctuation.’
    • ‘He jostles with them, has a little fun, banters.’
    • ‘A gorgeous-looking Zeta-Jones banters with aplomb and a gallery of grotesques shine as some of the supporting characters.’
    • ‘Between songs, Patti bantered with the audience, joked around and made us laugh (it turns out that she has quite a gift for comic timing).’
    • ‘We bantered with the audience and cracked jokes.’
    • ‘In New York, Fitzgerald has the reputation of a tough, no-nonsense prosecutor who doesn't relish bantering with reporters.’
    • ‘The family wants to thank everyone for their visits and support, as well as the nurses with whom he joked and bantered.’
    • ‘When Hamlet banters with the gravediggers, he becomes a clown himself, even if the subject matter is mortality.’
    • ‘Andrei teases and banters with just about every word, although his humor isn't odd and deadpan like Anikei's - it's lighter and brighter and more relaxed.’
    • ‘Chip's tone was bantering, but the words made their point.’
    joke, jest, pun, sally, quip
    josh, wisecrack
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Late 17th century: of unknown origin.