Meaning of “bank” in the English Dictionary

"bank" in British English

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banknoun [ C ]

uk /bæŋk/ us /bæŋk/

bank noun [ C ] (MONEY)

A1 an organization where people and businesses can invest or borrow money, change it to foreign money, etc., or a building where these services are offered:

The big banks have been accused of exploiting small firms.
I need to go to the bank at lunchtime.
I had to take out a bank loan to start my own business.

In gambling, the bank is money that belongs to the owner and can be won by the players.

More examples

  • I must go to the bank and change some money.
  • The bank agreed to lend me a top-up of £500.
  • The bank became suspicious after several large withdrawals were made from his account in a single week.
  • I used to work in the local branch of a large bank.
  • The four biggest banks are all planning to cut their service charges.

bank noun [ C ] (RIVER)

B2 sloping raised land, especially along the sides of a river:

By the time we reached the opposite bank, the boat was sinking fast.
These flowers generally grow on river banks and near streams.

More examples

  • Rats had burrowed into the bank of the river.
  • The geese were strung out along the river bank.
  • We pushed the boat off from the river bank.
  • There were several families picnicking on the river bank.
  • The children pelted down the bank, over the bridge and along the path.


uk /bæŋk/ us /bæŋk/

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “bank” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"bank" in American English

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banknoun [ C ]

us /bæŋk/

bank noun [ C ] (ORGANIZATION)

an organization that holds money belonging to others, investing and lending it to get more money, or the building in which the organization is situated

A bank of blood or human organs is a place that stores these things for later medical use:

a blood bank

In a casino, the bank is money that is used to pay the players who win.

bank noun [ C ] (RAISED GROUND)

sloping raised land, esp. along the sides of a river or lake, or a mass of something that has been piled together and has sloping sides:

We walked along the river bank.

A bank of clouds is a group of clouds that look as if they are piled together.

A bank is also a row of similar objects:


us /bæŋk/

bank verb (USE BANK)

[ I/T ] to use a bank or put money in a bank :

[ I always + adv/prep ] I bank at First National because it’s near where I work.

bank verb (TURN)

[ I ] (of an aircraft) to fly with one wing higher than the other when turning:

We banked to make a left turn as we approached the airport.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “bank” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"bank" in Business English

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banknoun [ C ]

uk /bæŋk/ us

BANKING, FINANCE an organization where people and businesses can keep, invest, or borrow money, exchange currencies, etc., or a building where these services are offered:

The bank gave me a loan to start my new business.
All the major domestic and foreign banks were affected by the crisis.
in the bank At that time, we had very little money in the bank.
put/pay sth into the bank Your fee will be paid directly into the bank.
take sth out of the bank They had taken all of their cash out of the bank.
I need to go to the bank at lunch time.
The bank has branches in most major towns.

[ C ] an amount of something that is kept to be used:

Our company offers an unparalleled bank of information on the real-estate business.
the Bank

BANKING the accepting house :

The Bank has kept interest rates at the same level this month.

bankverb [ I or T ]

uk /bæŋk/ us

BANKING to keep your money in a particular bank, or to put money into a bank:

bank with sb I've banked with Lloyd's for many years.
She banked most of the prize money she had received.

to earn or win a particular amount of money:

The former governor banked more than $135,000 in speaking fees.

(Definition of “bank” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)