1. A mound, pile, or ridge of earth, raised above the surrounding level; hence, anything shaped like a mound or ridge of earth; as, a bank of clouds; a bank of snow. "They cast up a bank against the city." (2 Sam. Xx. 15)

2. A steep acclivity, as the slope of a hill, or the side of a ravine.

3. The margin of a watercourse; the rising ground bordering a lake, river, or sea, or forming the edge of a cutting, or other hollow. "Tiber trembled underneath her banks." (Shak)

4. An elevation, or rising ground, under the sea; a shoal, shelf, or shallow; as, the banks of Newfoundland.

5. <chemical>

The face of the coal at which miners are working. A deposit of ore or coal, worked by excavations above water level.

The ground at the top of a shaft; as, ores are brought to bank.

<zoology> Bank beaver, the otter. Bank swallow, a small American and European swallow (Clivicola riparia) that nests in a hole which it excavates in a bank.

Origin: OE. Banke; akin to E. Bench, and prob. Of Scand. Origin.; cf. Icel. Bakki. See Bench.

(01 Mar 1998)

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