The Meaning of Banter: What It Is and How To Use It

What does it mean to have good banter? This article will cover the meaning of banter and how to use it in various circumstances.

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If someone enjoys witty banter, what does that mean? This article will teach you about the definition of the word banter and how to use this new word in a sentence. It will also cover different translations of banter, synonyms, antonyms, and more! Keep reading, and you will be able to use the word banter in no time.

What Does Banter Mean?

According to Dictionary, banter is a noun that refers to good-natured teasing or a teasing repartee. Folks can also use this word as a verb to joke with or exchange good-natured sarcasm. The pronunciation of banter is ˈbæn tər.

If someone enjoys bantering with someone else, they like to exchange quippy remarks. However, people do not always enjoy banter if they are in a work setting. Make sure that you know a person well before trying to banter with them. 

Banter is sometimes enjoyed in the workplace, but others find it unprofessional.

What Is the Etymology of Banter?

The word banter is of largely unknown origin. It may come from London street slang of the 1600s, but no one can say for sure.

What Are Examples of Banter?

One great way to internalize the definition of banter is to use in conversation. By studying the below example sentences, you can learn how to use banter in a sentence. 

Once you are comfortable using this word in a sentence, you can begin to use banter in everyday life. Have you ever heard two people banter before? 

Example #1: Friends Who Like to Banter

The group of friends loved to engage in good-natured banter while hanging out. They all felt safe making jokes at the expense of the other people and could take it as well as they could dish it out.

Example #2: Banter in the Office

She was known around the office for her witty banter. Many people loved it and enjoyed the demeanor that she brought to the office, but a few sticks in the mud felt her behavior was inappropriate. 

Example #3: Banter at the Awards Show

The friendly banter at the game quickly turned sour when people became offended by the MC’s jokes. 

What Are Translations of Banter?

People can banter in languages besides the English language. Suppose you are looking to discuss banter with a person who does not know English or trying to explain the concept of banter to a person who speaks English as a second language. 

In that case, you can reference this list of translations of banter from Nice Translator. Soon, you will be able to banter with people in many languages! 

  • Korean: 농담
  • Swedish: skämt
  • Icelandic: Stríðni
  • Estonian: tapja
  • Chinese (PRC): 嘲笑
  • Marathi: बरोबरी
  • Welsh: chanolwr
  • Dutch: plezier
  • Malayalam: ബാങ്കിലും
  • Polish: drażnić
  • Hindi: मज़ाक
  • Kannada: ಶಿಕ್ಷಕ
  • Basque: bankin
  • Vietnamese: Cành ca.
  • Arabic: مزاح
  • Romanian: caterincă
  • Ukrainian: занурювати
  • Russian: беседа
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 嘲笑
  • Turkish: şaka
  • Catalan: broma
  • Hebrew: לְהִתְלוֹצֵץ
  • French: plaisanter
  • Czech: škádlení
  • Latvian: banteris
  • Indonesian: kelakar
  • Croatian: podsmijevati
  • Bulgarian: бандит
  • Urdu: مذاق
  • Serbian: бантер
  • German: Geplänkel
  • Telugu: నాటకం
  • Finnish: pilailu
  • Slovak: škádlenie
  • Gujarati: બેન્ટર
  • Greek: αστεϊσμός
  • Thai: ล้อเล่น
  • Tamil: வேடிக்கை
  • Portuguese (Portugal): brincadeira
  • Malay: kelakar
  • Hungarian: évődés
  • Amharic: ባንከር
  • Spanish: broma
  • Portuguese (Brazil): brincadeira

What Are Synonyms of Banter?

Banter has a fairly positive connotation and evokes playful jokes back and forth that is not meant to be taken seriously. 

If you are looking for a word similar to banter with a negative or neutral connotation—or if you feel you may be overusing the word banter in your speech or writing—you can reference this list of synonyms banter from Power Thesaurus. Looking at a list of synonyms is a great way to familiarize yourself with new words.

  • backchat
  • badinage
  • chaff
  • chaffing
  • crosstalk
  • deride
  • derision
  • drollery
  • fun
  • give-and-take
  • irony
  • jape
  • jeer
  • jest
  • jesting
  • jive
  • joke
  • jokes
  • joking
  • jolly
  • josh
  • joshing
  • kid
  • kidding
  • make fun of
  • mockery
  • persiflage
  • play
  • pleasantries
  • pleasantry
  • quip
  • quips
  • rag
  • raillery
  • razz
  • repartee
  • rib
  • ribbing
  • ridicule
  • sarcasm
  • satirize
  • small talk
  • taunt
  • tease
  • teasing
  • twit
  • wisecrack
  • wisecracks
  • witticisms
  • witty conversation
  • wordplay

What Are Antonyms of Banter?

If you need a word that means the opposite of banter, look no further than this list of antonyms of banter from Power Thesaurus. Antonyms of banter will refer to things that are serious and not to be taken lightly. It is important to know when is a good time for banter and when is a good time to be serious. 

  • astringence
  • austerities
  • austerity
  • commitment
  • consequence
  • criticality
  • criticalness
  • cruciality
  • crucialness
  • dangerous
  • dangerousness
  • decisiveness
  • degree
  • distressfulness
  • earnest
  • earnestness
  • enormity
  • extent
  • extremity
  • fervor
  • formalness
  • gloominess
  • graveness
  • gravitas
  • gravity
  • grimness
  • hard
  • humorlessness
  • import
  • importance
  • intensity
  • intentness
  • magnitude
  • moment
  • momentousness
  • note
  • poker face
  • purposiveness
  • sedateness
  • serious
  • serious-mindedness
  • seriously
  • seriousness
  • severe
  • severity
  • significance
  • sincerity
  • sober-mindedness
  • soberness
  • sobriety
  • solemnity
  • solemnness
  • somberness
  • staidness
  • thoughtfulness
  • top priority
  • urgency
  • vehemence
  • weight
  • weightiness


The definition of banter is a playful joking mockery. Often, people who banter will toss gentle insults back and forth but recognize that it is being done playfully and not get offended. It is safest to reserve banter for people you know very well and who make you feel comfortable. 

It is not always appropriate to banter in a professional environment and it can be seen as unprofessional. Before you start to banter, think carefully about the setting, if it is appropriate, and if people will take offense. 


  1. Banter synonyms – 410 Words and Phrases for Banter | Power Thesaurus 
  2. Banter Definition & Meaning |
  3. Seriousness synonyms – 1 059 Words and Phrases for Seriousness | Power Thesaurus  
  4. Banter | Nice Translator