Definition of bank noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//bæŋk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//bæŋk//
    Features of roads, Snow and ice, Rivers and lakes, Banking
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    for money
  1. 1  an organization that provides various financial services, for example keeping or lending money My salary is paid directly into my bank. I need to go to the bank (= the local office of a bank). a bank loan a bank manager Wordfinderafford, bank, bankrupt, capital, economy, expense, finance, invest, money, profit CollocationsFinanceIncome earn money/​cash/(informal) a fortune make money/​a fortune/(informal) a killing on the stock market acquire/​inherit/​amass wealth/​a fortune build up funds/​savings get/​receive/​leave (somebody) an inheritance/​a legacy live on a low wage/​a fixed income/​a pension get/​receive/​draw/​collect a pension depend/​be dependent on (British English) benefits/(North American English) welfare/​social securityExpenditure spend money/​your savings/(informal) a fortune on… invest/​put your savings in… throw away/​waste/ (informal) shell out money on… lose your money/​inheritance/​pension use up/ (informal) wipe out all your savings pay (in) cash use/​pay by a credit/​debit card pay by/​make out a/​write somebody a/​accept a (British English) cheque/(US English) check change/​exchange money/​currency/(British English) traveller’s cheques/(US English) traveler’s checks give/​pay/​leave (somebody) a depositBanks have/​hold/​open/​close/​freeze a bank account/​an account credit/​debit/​pay something into/​take money out of your account deposit money/​funds in your account withdraw money/​cash/£30 from an ATM, etc. (formal) make a deposit/​withdrawal find/​go to/​use (especially North American English) an ATM/(British English) a cash machine/​dispenser be in credit/​in debit/​in the black/​in the red/​overdrawnPersonal finance manage/​handle/​plan/​run/ (especially British English) sort out your finances plan/​manage/​work out/​stick to a budget offer/​extend credit (to somebody) arrange/​take out a loan/​an overdraft pay back/​repay money/​a loan/​a debt pay for something in (especially British English) instalments/(usually North American English) installmentsFinancial difficulties get into debt/​financial difficulties be short of/ (informal) be strapped for cash run out of/​owe money face/​get/ (informal) be landed with a bill for £… can’t afford the cost of…/payments/​rent fall behind with/ (especially North American English) fall behind on the mortgage/​repayments/​rent incur/​run up/​accumulate debts tackle/​reduce/​settle your debts see also investment bank, merchant bank Wordfinderaccount, balance, bank, credit, debit, deposit, interest, loan, statement, withdrawal Culturebanks and bankingIn Britain, the central bank, which acts as banker for the state and commercial banks, is the Bank of England. The Governor of the Bank of England advises the government on financial matters. The bank sets national interest rates (= the cost of borrowing money) and is responsible for issuing banknotes.The main commercial banks, called clearing banks or high-street banks, are NatWest, Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC. These are known as the 'big four' and have branches in most towns. Former building societies that became banks in the mid 1990s, such as the Halifax, now compete with them for customers. Other building societies, such as the Nationwide, also offer banking services, as do several supermarkets and stores, such as Tesco or Marks & Spencer. First Direct is a bank that is only phone- and Internet-based. Many people now bank online, and may rarely go into the local branch of their bank, as they can get cash from cash machines in many places. People can use a current account and. for savings, a deposit account.The high-street banks offer bank loans for individuals and small businesses. Merchant banks deal with company finance on a larger scale.In the US there are thousands of banks. This is because banks are prevented by law from operating in more than one state. Some banks get round this rule by forming holding companies which own banks with the same names in different states. Unlike British banks, American banks are banks of deposit and credit and do not build up capital. Banking is dominated by large money center banks, such as Chase, which raise money by dealing in the international money markets and lend it to businesses and other banks.The US central bank is the Federal Reserve Bank, often called the Fed. In addition to the national Fed in Washington, DC, there are 12 regional ones. The Fed tells commercial banks how much money they must keep in reserve and decides what rate of interest to charge when lending them money. This affects the rate of interest the commercial banks charge their customers.In the US people keep their accounts in commercial banks which must have a charter (= permission to operate) from the US or a state government. Each state decides whether to allow branch banking, i.e. to allow customers to do business at any branch of a bank, not just the one where they have their account. People also keep money in savings and loan associations. The most common accounts are checking and savings accounts.After the global financial crisis in the years after 2008, banks were severely criticized for the part they had played in causing the crisis, and their reputation has suffered. They are also criticized for giving very large bonuses (= extra payments in addition to salary) to their top managers when this may not be deserved. See related entries: Banking
  2. in gambling
  3. 2a supply of money or things that are used as money in some games, especially those in which gambling is involved
  4. something collected/stored
  5. 3an amount of something that is collected; a place where something is stored ready for use a bank of knowledge a blood/sperm bank see also databank
  6. of river/canal
  7. 4  the side of a river, canal, etc. and the land near it He jumped in and swam to the opposite bank. It's on the north bank of the Thames. a house on the banks of the River Severn (= on land near the river) See related entries: Rivers and lakes
  8. slope
  9. 5a raised area of ground that slopes at the sides, often at the edge of something or dividing something There were low banks of earth between the rice fields. The girls ran down the steep grassy bank.
  10. 6an artificial slope built at the side of a road, so that cars can drive fast around bends See related entries: Features of roads
  11. of cloud/snow, etc.
  12. 7a mass of cloud, snow, etc., especially one formed by the wind The sun disappeared behind a bank of clouds. See related entries: Snow and ice
  13. of machines, etc.
  14. 8a row or series of similar objects, especially machines a bank of lights/switches/computers
  15. Word Originnoun senses 4 to 8 Middle English: from Old Norse bakki, of Germanic origin; related to bench. The senses of is ‘set of things in rows’ from French banc, of the same ultimate origin. noun senses 1 to 3 late 15th cent. (originally denoting a money dealer's table): from French banque or Italian banca, from medieval Latin banca, bancus, of Germanic origin; related to other senses of bank and bench.Extra examples A group of ten international banks is to underwrite and sell the bonds. He got a large loan from the bank. I need to get some money out of the bank. I’ll put half the money in the bank and spend the rest. Investors lost millions when the bank crashed. Many of these banks issue both credit and debit cards. She has her money in one of the largest savings banks. The River Frome had burst its banks after torrential rain. The bank charged him a monthly $5 fee. The bank lent her money to buy a car. The bond will be priced by the issuing bank. The central bank has put up interest rates. The children rolled down the grassy bank. The company owes the bank more than €4 million. The government has refused to bail out the bank. We could see them waving on the opposite bank. We strolled along the river bank. a huge bank of switches and buttons a picnic on the banks of the Thames a vast bank of cloud They intend to establish a bank of information which will be accessible to the public. a blood/​sperm bankIdioms
    laugh all the way to the bank
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    (informal) to make a lot of money easily and feel very pleased about it
    (informal, humorous) if you say something won’t break the bank, you mean that it won’t cost a lot of money, or more than you can afford We can just get a sandwich if you want—that won’t break the bank.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: bank