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

  • n. A piled-up mass, as of snow or clouds. See Synonyms at heap.
  • n. A steep natural incline.
  • n. An artificial embankment.
  • n. The slope of land adjoining a body of water, especially adjoining a river, lake, or channel. Often used in the plural.
  • n. A large elevated area of a sea floor. Often used in the plural.
  • n. Games The cushion of a billiard or pool table.
  • n. The lateral inward tilting, as of a motor vehicle or an aircraft, in turning or negotiating a curve.
  • transitive v. To border or protect with a ridge or embankment.
  • transitive v. To pile up; amass: banked earth along the wall.
  • transitive v. To cover (a fire), as with ashes or fresh fuel, to ensure continued low burning.
  • transitive v. To construct with a slope rising to the outside edge: The turns on the racetrack were steeply banked.
  • transitive v. To tilt (an aircraft) laterally and inwardly in flight.
  • transitive v. To tilt (a motor vehicle) laterally and inwardly when negotiating a curve.
  • transitive v. Games To strike (a billiard ball) so that it rebounds from the cushion of the table.
  • transitive v. Sports To play (a ball or puck) in such a way as to make it glance off a surface, such as a backboard or wall.
  • intransitive v. To rise in or take the form of a bank.
  • intransitive v. To tilt an aircraft or a motor vehicle laterally when turning.
  • n. A business establishment in which money is kept for saving or commercial purposes or is invested, supplied for loans, or exchanged.
  • n. The offices or building in which such an establishment is located.
  • n. Games The funds of a gambling establishment.
  • n. Games The funds held by a dealer or banker in some gambling games.
  • n. Games The reserve pieces, cards, chips, or play money in some games, such as poker, from which the players may draw.
  • n. A supply or stock for future or emergency use: a grain bank.
  • n. Medicine A supply of human tissues or other materials, such as blood, skin, or sperm, held in reserve for future use.
  • n. A place of safekeeping or storage: a computer's memory bank.
  • n. Obsolete A moneychanger's table or place of business.
  • transitive v. To deposit in or as if in a bank.
  • intransitive v. To transact business with a bank or maintain a bank account.
  • intransitive v. To operate a bank.
  • bank on To have confidence in; rely on.
  • n. A set of similar or matched things arranged in a row, especially:
  • n. A set of elevators.
  • n. A row of keys on a keyboard.
  • n. Nautical A bench for rowers in a galley.
  • n. Nautical A row of oars in a galley.
  • n. Printing The lines of type under a headline.
  • transitive v. To arrange or set up in a row: "Every street was banked with purple-blooming trees” ( Doris Lessing).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An institution where one can place and borrow money and take care of financial affairs.
  • n. A branch office of such an institution
  • n. An underwriter or controller of a card game, also banque.
  • n. A safe and guaranteed place of storage for and retrieval of important items or goods.
  • v. To deal with a bank or financial institution.
  • v. To put into a bank.
  • n. An edge of river, lake, or other watercourse.
  • n. An elevation, or rising ground, under the sea; a shallow area of shifting sand, gravel, mud, and so forth (for example, a sandbank or mudbank).
  • n. A slope of earth, sand, etc.; an embankment.
  • n. The incline of an aircraft, especially during a turn.
  • n. An incline, a hill.
  • n. A mass noun for a quantity of clouds.
  • v. To roll or incline laterally in order to turn.
  • v. To cause (an aircraft) to bank.
  • v. To form into a bank or heap, to bank up.
  • v. To cover the embers of a fire with ashes in order to retain heat.
  • n. A row or panel of items stored or grouped together.
  • n. A row of keys on a musical keyboard or the equivalent on a typewriter keyboard.
  • v. To arrange or order in a row.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mound, pile, or ridge of earth, raised above the surrounding level; hence, anything shaped like a mound or ridge of earth.
  • n. A steep acclivity, as the slope of a hill, or the side of a ravine.
  • n. The margin of a watercourse; the rising ground bordering a lake, river, or sea, or forming the edge of a cutting, or other hollow.
  • n. An elevation, or rising ground, under the sea; a shoal, shelf, or shallow.
  • n.
  • n. The face of the coal at which miners are working.
  • n. A deposit of ore or coal, worked by excavations above water level.
  • n. The ground at the top of a shaft.
  • n. The lateral inclination of an aëroplane as it rounds a curve.
  • n. A group or series of objects arranged near together
  • n. The tilt of a roadway or railroad, at a curve in the road, designed to counteract centrifugal forces acting on vehicles moving rapiudly around the curve, thus reducing the danger of overturning during a turn.
  • n. A bench, as for rowers in a galley; also, a tier of oars.
  • n.
  • n. The bench or seat upon which the judges sit.
  • n. The regular term of a court of law, or the full court sitting to hear arguments upon questions of law, as distinguished from a sitting at Nisi Prius, or a court held for jury trials. See Banc.
  • n. A sort of table used by printers.
  • n. A bench, or row of keys belonging to a keyboard, as in an organ.
  • n. An establishment for the custody, loan, exchange, or issue, of money, and for facilitating the transmission of funds by drafts or bills of exchange; an institution incorporated for performing one or more of such functions, or the stockholders (or their representatives, the directors), acting in their corporate capacity.
  • n. The building or office used for banking purposes.
  • n. A fund to be used in transacting business, especially a joint stock or capital.
  • n. The sum of money or the checks which the dealer or banker has as a fund, from which to draw his stakes and pay his losses.
  • n. In certain games, as dominos, a fund of pieces from which the players are allowed to draw; in Monopoly, the fund of money used to pay bonuses due to the players, or to which they pay fines.
  • n. a place where something is stored and held available for future use
  • intransitive v. To keep a bank; to carry on the business of a banker.
  • intransitive v. To deposit money in a bank; to have an account with a banker.
  • intransitive v. To tilt sidewise in rounding a curve; -- said of a flying machine, an aërocurve, or the like.
  • transitive v. To raise a mound or dike about; to inclose, defend, or fortify with a bank; to embank.
  • transitive v. To heap or pile up.
  • transitive v. To pass by the banks of.
  • transitive v. To build (a roadway or railroad) with an inclination at a curve in the road, so as to counteract centrifugal forces acting on vehicles moving rapiudly around the curve, thus reducing the danger of vehicles overturning at a curve.
  • transitive v. To deposit in a bank.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To raise a mound or dike about; inclose, defend, or fortify with a bank; embank: as, to bank a river.
  • To form into a bank or heap; heap or pile: with up: as, to bank up the snow.
  • To lie around or encircle, as a bank; constitute a bank around; form a bank or border to; hem in as a bank.
  • To pass by the banks or fortifications of.
  • To border upon.
  • To impinge upon the banking-pins of a watch: said of the escapement.
  • To have an account with a banker; deposit money in a bank; transact business with a bank or as a bank; exercise the trade or profession of a banker.
  • To lay up on deposit in a bank: as, he banked $500.
  • To fish on submarine banks, especially the Newfoundland Banks.
  • n. A mound, pile, or ridge of earth raised above the surrounding plain; an artificial embankment, especially for military use.
  • n. Any steep acclivity, as one rising from a river, a lake, or the sea, or forming the side of a ravine, or the steep side of a hillock on a plain.
  • n. An elevation or rising ground in the sea or the bed of a river, composed of sand or other soil, and either partly above water or covered everywhere with shoal water; a shoal; a shallow: as, the banks of Newfoundland; the Dogger bank in the North Sea.
  • n. A bench or long seat; also, a stage or platform to speak from. See mountebank.
  • n. A bench in a galley for rowers; hence, the number of rowers seated on one bench
  • n. In law, the bench or seat upon which the judges sat. See banc.
  • n. A bench or row of keys in an organ or similar instrument.
  • n. In carpentry, a long piece of timber, especially of fir-wood unslit, from 4 to 10 inches square.
  • n. In coal-mining: The surface around the mouth of a shaft: in this sense nearly synonymous with the Cornish grass, to bank being the same as to grass
  • n. In England, the whole or one end or side of a working-place under ground.
  • n. In Pennsylvania, a coal-working opened by water-level drifts.
  • n. In England (Cumberland), a large heap or stack of coal on the surface.
  • n. The support of the moving carriage of a printing-press.
  • n. In the fire-chamber of a glass-furnace, one of the banked-up parts which support the melting-pots.
  • n. In printing: The table used by a hand-pressman for his unprinted paper and his printed sheets.
  • n. A frame, with sloping top, on which are placed the galleys for use in collecting and proving the type set: mainly used in newspaper composing-rooms.
  • n. In thread or yarn manufacture, a creel in which rows of bobbins are held.
  • n. A money-dealer's table, counter, or shop.
  • n. A sum of money, especially a sum to draw upon, as in a loan-bank.
  • n. In games of chance, the amount or pile which the proprietor of the gaming-table, or the person who plays against all the others, has before him; the funds of a gaming establishment; a fund in certain games at cards: as, a faro-bank.
  • n. An institution for receiving and lending money.
  • n. The office in which the transactions of a banking company are conducted.
  • n. In lumbering. Same as landing, 9.
  • n. A small pottery.
  • n. In lumbering, the logs cut or skidded above the amount required in a day and held over by the saw-crew or skidders, to be reported when the daily quota is not reached.

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

  • v. enclose with a bank
  • n. a supply or stock held in reserve for future use (especially in emergencies)
  • v. tip laterally
  • n. an arrangement of similar objects in a row or in tiers
  • v. put into a bank account
  • n. a long ridge or pile
  • n. the funds held by a gambling house or the dealer in some gambling games
  • n. a building in which the business of banking transacted
  • v. act as the banker in a game or in gambling
  • v. have confidence or faith in
  • n. a slope in the turn of a road or track; the outside is higher than the inside in order to reduce the effects of centrifugal force
  • n. sloping land (especially the slope beside a body of water)
  • v. do business with a bank or keep an account at a bank
  • v. cover with ashes so to control the rate of burning
  • n. a flight maneuver; aircraft tips laterally about its longitudinal axis (especially in turning)
  • n. a container (usually with a slot in the top) for keeping money at home
  • n. a financial institution that accepts deposits and channels the money into lending activities
  • v. be in the banking business


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

Middle English, of Scandinavian origin.
Middle English banke, from French banque, from Old Italian banca, bench, moneychanger's table, from Old High German banc.
Middle English, bench, from Old French banc, from Late Latin bancus, of Germanic origin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English banke, from Middle French banque, from Old Italian banca ("counter, moneychanger's bench or table"), from Lombardic *bench, counter, from Proto-Germanic *bankiz (“bench, counter”), from Proto-Indo-European *bheg- (“to turn, curve, bend, bow”). Cognate with Old High German banc, banch ("counter, bench"), Old English banc, benc ("bench"). More at bench.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English banke, from Old English hōbanca ("couch") and Old English banc ("bank, hillock, embankment"), from Proto-Germanic *bankô. Akin to Old Norse bakki ("elevation, hill").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English bank ("bank"), banke, from Old French banc ("bench"), from Frankish *bank. Akin to Old English benc ("bench").


  • ** Cash only, or bank to bank** I will not accept any Cashier check of any kind.


  • The word bank reached new heights following the successful commercial enterprises of the East India Company.

    The English Is Coming!

  • It brings a whole new movie -- meaning to the term bank branch.

    CNN Transcript Jul 8, 2007

  • Early on, you find a alien watch that contains a journal to remind you of your quests, a map to show you where to go, an inventory showing quest items you have gathered, your word bank and other helpful items. News

  • The word bank comes from "banco," the bench on which itinerant merchants traded.


  • As exhausting as this journey must have been for the word bank, it has served English-speakers well, and richly.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Even in countries like China, Japan, and Greece, where other words are used to capture related ideas for “banking,” the English word bank is freely recognized.xviii

    The English Is Coming!

  • The family owns a fleabag motel in a tiny, out of the way town, and the bank is about to foreclose.

    Several movies : Bev Vincent

  • And get this: The DoJ's website has a page entitled "Protect Yourself From Fraud," but the word 'bank' never appears on it.

    Richard (RJ) Eskow: Justice by the Numbers: Chasing Immigrants While Bank Criminals Go Free

  • I think in this case, the bank is actually higher … Lol …

    PhotoHunter: Low « Mudpuddle


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  • Same origin, TBT.

    July 18, 2009

  • Means "bench" in Dutch.

    July 13, 2009