from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A tropical Indian fig tree (Ficus benghalensis), often widely spreading because of the many aerial roots that descend from the branches and develop into additional trunks. It is planted for ornament and shade.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An Indian trader, merchant, cashier, or money changer.
- n. A tropical Indian fig tree, Ficus benghalensis, that has many aerial roots.
- n. A type of loose gown worn in India.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A tree of the same genus as the common fig, and called the Indian fig (Ficus Indica), whose branches send shoots to the ground, which take root and become additional trunks, until it may be the tree covers some acres of ground and is able to shelter thousands of men.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See banian.
- n. See banian.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a loose fitting jacket; originally worn in India
- n. East Indian tree that puts out aerial shoots that grow down into the soil forming additional trunks
Short for banyan tree, merchants' tree, from Portuguese banian, Hindu merchant, from Gujarati vāṇiyo, from Sanskrit vāṇijaḥ.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Portuguese banian, from Arabic بنيان, from Gujarati વાણિયો (vāṇiyo, "merchant"), from Sanskrit वाणिज (vāṇijá), from earlier वणिज् (vaṇíj, "merchant, trader"). The name appears to have been first bestowed popularly on a famous tree of this species growing near Bandar Abbas, under which the Bannians or Hindu traders settled at that port, had built a little pagoda. (Wiktionary)