bank

Definitions

General English

General Science

  • noun a piece of land at the edge of water such as a river or lake
  • noun a long heap of sand or snow, e.g. a sandbank in shallow water or a snowbank along the side of a road
  • noun a place where something is collected for a particular use, e.g. a seed bank or a bottle bank
  • noun a rotating or rolling movement of an aircraft around its longitudinal axis to a particular angle

Accounting

  • verb to deposit money into a bank or to have an account with a bank

Banking

  • noun
    (written as Bank)
    a German word meaning bank

Computing

  • noun a collection of similar devices

Construction

  • A mass of soil rising above a digging or trucking level. excavation and loading are done at the face of a bank.

Economics

  • noun a business which holds money for its clients, which lends money at interest, and trades generally in money. Apart from the main commercial banks this category includes some former building societies and other financial institutions. Banks are licensed by the regulatory authorities such as the Bank of England or , in the USA, the Federal Reserve.

Electronics

  • A series of objects, usually of the same type, which are connected electrically and used together. For instance, a group of resistors, batteries, or contacts.

Information & Library Science

  • noun somewhere to store things ready for use

Media Studies

  • noun a secondary part of a headline running below the main headline in smaller type

Medical

  • noun a place where blood or organs from donors can be stored until needed.

Military

  • noun an artificial mound of earth used to enclose a field
  • noun a place where people can deposit or store money

Real Estate

  • noun a business that keeps money for individual people or companies, exchanges currencies, makes loans and offers other financial services

Slang

  • adjective inferior, unpleasant. A fashionable pejorative in black street slang since the 1990s, the term may be a blend of, or inspired by, terms such as bunk and rank, but the noun ‘bank’ was used to mean ‘toilet’ in black slang of the 1940s and 1950s. Yet another proposed derivation is from ‘bankrupt’.
  • noun money. A teenage vogue word of 1987 and 1988. The term was picked up by British rap, hip hop and acid house enthusiasts and was still in use in 2004.

Origin & History of “bank”

The various disparate meanings of modern English bank all come ultimately from the same source, Germanic *bangk-, but they have taken different routes to reach us. Earliest to arrive was ‘ridge, mound, bordering slope’, which came via a hypothetical Old Norse *banki. then came ‘bench’ (13th c.) (now obsolete except in the sense ‘series of rows or tiers’ – as in a typewriter’s bank of keys); this arrived from Old French banc, which was originally borrowed from Germanic *bangk- (also the source of English bench). Finally came ‘moneylender’s counter’ (15th c.), whose source was either French banque or Italian bancaboth in any case deriving ultimately once again from Germanic *bangk-. The current sense, ‘place where money is kept’, developed in the 17th century.

The derived bankrupt (16th c.) comes originally from Italian banca rotta, literally ‘broken counter’ (rotta is related to English bereave and rupture); in early times a broken counter or bench was symbolic of an insolvent moneylender.

The diminutive of Old French banc was banquet ‘little bench’ (perhaps modelled on Italian banchetto), from which English gets banquet (15th c.). It has undergone a complete reversal in meaning over the centuries; originally it signified a ‘small snack eaten while seated on a bench (rather than at table)’.
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