Banter is a noun and a verb. The noun refers to playful teasing or joking between people, and the verb means to playfully joke with someone.
The couple's banter made it clear that they shared a sense of humor.
The receptionist banteredwith the customers, making them laugh.
Words often used with banter
Banter often follows the adjective "witty," which means "clever." For example: "Martin is known for his witty banterwith his coworkers. Everyone thinks he's funny." "Good-natured banter" is especially friendly.
Originally, banter was used to mean "aggressively tease," but over time it has taken on a more light-hearted meaning and now is used only to refer to good-natured teasing and joking.
Commonly confused with
"Tease" is a similar word but is slightly different. To tease someone is to make fun of that person and can be friendly or unfriendly, unlike banter, which is friendly. The other difference is that to banter usually requires two people. You banter with someone, which means that both people are participating in the teasing.
The origin of banter is uncertain, but it first appeared in 1660–1670.