Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A robber, especially one who robs at gunpoint.
  • n. An outlaw; a gangster.
  • n. One who cheats or exploits others.
  • n. Slang A hostile aircraft, especially a fighter aircraft.
  • idiom make out like a bandit Slang To be highly successful in a given enterprise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. one who robs others
  • n. an outlaw
  • n. one who cheats others
  • n. An enemy aircraft.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An outlaw; a brigand.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To outlaw; proscribe; banish.
  • n. An outlaw; one who is proscribed. Hence A lawless or desperate fellow; a brigand; a robber; especially, one of an organized band of lawless marauders.
  • n. Synonyms Brigand, etc. See robber.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an armed thief who is (usually) a member of a band

Etymologies

Italian bandito, from bandire, to band together, probably of Germanic origin; see bhā-2 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Italian bandito ("outlawed"), from Late Latin bannire ("to proclaim"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But people assume the bandits are illegal as well because of what they are called 'bandits'; but the term bandit was introduced to English via Italian around 1590 in Europe...so the word existed WAY before there was even a Mexico, or United States of America.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • Like many, she blames Mr. Yeltsin for wasting a historic opportunity, ushering in what she calls a bandit regime controlled by powerful oligarchs, and generating profound distrust of politicians.

    New Russia Turns 20, Its Martyrs Forgotten

  • She nonchalantly wrote, “Deep under them both is solid blue clay, embalming the fossil horse and fossil ox and the great mastodon, the same preserving blue clay that was dug up to wrap the head of the Big Harp in bandit days, no less a monstrous thing when carried in for reward.”

    Eudora Welty: Some Notes on River Country (copy)

  • My alma matta, SUNY Buffalo, has made out like a bandit from the change.

    State Universities vs. Vouchers, Arnold Kling | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Among the famous inmates were Benito Juárez (before he was exiled to Louisiana), Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, a 19th-century writer who fell out of favor with Emperor Agustín Iturbide, and "Chucho el Roto," a Robin Hood-style bandit from the 1700s who stole from the rich to give to the poor.

    Veracruz, Mexico: a feast for the senses

  • Seattle frequently played a defense it refers to as the bandit, which features seven defensive backs, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and just three down linemen.

    The Seattle Times

  • He’d been told to man a machine-gun and to protect one side of a defensive position deep in bandit country.

    Youth Crime « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • The bandit is a man dressed up as a woman and he has robbed an adult entertainment store.

    Rumors | CurveHouse.com

  • The IRA is no monolith, but its wild heart is unquestionably in Northern Ireland's so-called bandit country.

    'We'll Never Decommission'

  • When they call you the duct tape bandit, that is not you?

    CNN Transcript Aug 14, 2007

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