I. noun 1. a flat, thin strip or loop of material, used as a fastener, for reinforcement, or as decoration. • wads of banknotes fastened with gummed paper bands.
• Victoria settled the velvet band on her hair.
2. a plain ring for the finger, especially a gold wedding ring. • a narrow band of gold was her only jewellery.
(N. Amer.) a ring of metal placed round a bird’s leg to identify it.
• look for a leg band on the osprey.
4. a belt or strap transmitting motion between two wheels or pulleys. 5. ( bands) — a collar with two hanging strips, worn by certain lawyers, clerics, and academics as part of their formal dress. • I’m wearing clerical bands, which are a sign of my office.
6. a stripe, line, or elongated area of a different colour, texture, or composition from its surroundings • a long, narrow band of cloud.
7. a narrow stratum of rock or coal. • the band of limestone continues north on the same contour.
8. a range of values or a specified category within a series (used especially in financial contexts) • your home was placed in one of eight valuation bands.
9. a range of frequencies or wavelengths in a spectrum • channels in the UHF band.
10. any of several groups into which school pupils of the same age are divided on the basis of broadly similar ability • the top band of pupils.
‹archaic› a thing that restrains, binds, or unites
• must I fall, and die in bands?
II. verb — [with obj.] 1. provide or fit (an object) with something in the form of a strip or ring, for reinforcement or decoration • doors are banded with iron to make them stronger.
(N. Amer.) put a band on (a bird) for identification.
• the map shows where starlings banded in Holland were later recovered.
3. mark (something) with a stripe or stripes of a different colour • the bird’s bill is banded across the middle with black
• (as adj. banded)
(Brit.) allocate to a range or category (used especially in financial contexts)
• single adults in a property banded above D will pay more.
5. group (school pupils) into classes or sets for teaching purposes. • the infants are banded in terms of their ability.
– origin late Old English (in sense 4 of the noun), from Old Norse, reinforced in late Middle English by Old French bande, of Germanic origin; related to bind.