- Also called banyan tree. an East Indian fig tree, Ficus benghalensis, of the mulberry family, having branches that send out adventitious roots to the ground and sometimes cause the tree to spread over a wide area.
- Also bania, baniya. (in India)
- a Hindu trader or merchant of a particular caste, the rules of which forbid eating flesh.
- a loose shirt, jacket, or gown.
- a moraceous tree, Ficus benghalensis, of tropical India and the East Indies, having aerial roots that grow down into the soil forming additional trunks
- a member of the Hindu merchant caste of N and W India
- a loose-fitting shirt, jacket, or robe, worn originally in India
“Indian fig tree,” 1630s, so called in reference to a tree on the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf under which the Hindu merchants known as banians had built a pagoda. From Sanskrit vanija “merchant.”