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See also: banyán and bànyǎn


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Ficus bengalensis
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Alternative forms[edit]


From Portuguese baniano, 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.[1]



banyan (plural banyans)

  1. An Indian trader, merchant, cashier, or money changer.
  2. A tropical Indian fig tree, Ficus benghalensis, that has many aerial roots.
    • 1914, Teresa Frances & William Rose Benét, The East I Know, translation of original by Paul Claudel, page 33:
      We climb and then descend; we pass by the great banyan which, like Atlas, settling himself powerfully on his contorted haunches, seems awaiting with knee and shoulder the burden of the sky.
  3. A type of loose gown worn in India.




  1. ^ Yule, Henry, Sir. Hobson-Jobson (1903) A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive.[1], London: J. Murray

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