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band 1 (bănd)
1. A thin strip of flexible material used to encircle and bind one object or to hold a number of objects together: a metal band around the bale of cotton.
2. A strip or stripe that contrasts with something else in color, texture, or material.
3. A narrow strip of fabric used to trim, finish, or reinforce articles of clothing.
4. Something that constrains or binds morally or legally: the bands of marriage and family.
5. A simple ring, especially a wedding ring.
a. A neckband or collar.
b. bands The two strips hanging from the front of a collar as part of the dress of certain clerics, scholars, and lawyers.
c. A high collar popular in the 1500s and 1600s.
a. Biology A chromatically, structurally, or functionally differentiated strip or stripe in or on an organism.
b. Anatomy A cordlike tissue that connects or holds structures together.
8. Physics
a. A specific range of wavelengths or frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.
b. A range of very closely spaced electron energy levels in solids, the distribution and nature of which determine the electrical properties of a material.
9. Any of the distinct grooves on a long-playing phonograph record that contains an individual selection or a separate section of a whole.
10. A cord or strip across the back of a book to which the sheets or quires are attached.
tr.v. band·ed, band·ing, bands
1. To tie, bind, or encircle with or as if with a band.
2. To mark or identify with a band: a program to band migrating birds.

[Middle English bende (from Old English bend and from Old French bande, bende, of Germanic origin) and Middle English bond, band (from Old Norse, band; see bhendh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
band 2 (bănd)
a. A group of people: a band of outlaws.
b. A group of animals.
a. Anthropology A unit of social organization especially among hunter-gatherers, consisting of a usually small number of families living together cooperatively.
b. Canadian An aboriginal group officially recognized as an organized unit by the Canadian government. See Usage Note at First Nation.
3. A group of musicians who perform as an ensemble.
v. band·ed, band·ing, bands
v. tr.
To assemble or unite in a group.
v. intr.
To form a group; unite: banded together for protection.

[Early Modern English, from Middle French, troop identified by its standard, ultimately (probably via Old Provençal) from *banda, plural of Medieval Latin bandum, military standard, banner, of Germanic origin; see bhā-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.