bank1 /baŋk/


I. noun

1. the land alongside or sloping down to a river or lake

willows lined the bank of the stream.
2. a long, high mass or mound of a particular substance

a grassy bank
a bank of snow.
3. an elevation in the seabed or a riverbed; a mudbank or sandbank.
4. a transverse slope given to a road, railway, or sports track to enable vehicles or runners to maintain speed round a curve.
5. [ mass noun] the sideways tilt of an aircraft when turning in flight

a rather steep angle of bank.
6. a set of similar things, especially electrical or electronic devices, grouped together in rows

the DJ had big banks of lights and speakers on either side of his console.
7. a tier of oars.

the early ships had only twenty-five oars in each bank.
8. the cushion of a pool table.

[as modifier]

a bank shot.
II. verb [with obj.]

1. heap (a substance) into a mass or mound

the rain banked the soil up behind the gate
snow was banked in humps at the roadside.
2. [no obj.] form into a mass or mound

purple clouds banked up over the hills.
3. heap up (a fire) with tightly packed fuel so that it burns slowly

she banked up the fire.
4. edge or surround with a ridge or row of something

steps banked with pots of chrysanthemums.
5. (with reference to an aircraft or vehicle) tilt or cause to tilt sideways in making a turn

[no obj.]

the plane banked as if to return to the airport
[with obj.]
I banked the aircraft steeply and turned.
6. build (a road, railway, or sports track) higher at the outer edge of a bend to facilitate fast cornering.

the track was banked to allow a train to take curves faster while maintaining passenger comfort.
7. (often as noun banking)
(Brit.) (of a locomotive) provide additional power for (a train) in ascending an incline.
8. (of an angler) succeed in landing (a fish)

it was the biggest rainbow trout that had ever been banked.
(N. Amer.) (in pool) play (a ball) so that it rebounds off a surface such as a cushion.

I banked the eight ball off two cushions.
– origin Middle English: from Old Norse bakki, of Germanic origin; related to bench. The senses ‘set of things in rows’ and ‘tier of oars’ are from French banc, of the same ultimate origin.

Add Comment

By Oxford


Get in touch

Quickly communicate covalent niche markets for maintainable sources. Collaboratively harness resource sucking experiences whereas cost effective meta-services.