Banana Republic Definition

A small country that is economically dependent on a single export commodity, such as bananas, and is typically governed by a dictator or the armed forces.
American Heritage
Any small, typically Latin American, country characterized by political instability and a one-crop economy controlled by foreign capital.
Webster's New World

(politics, idiomatic) A small country, especially one in Central America, that is dependent on a single export commodity (traditionally bananas) and that has a corrupt, dictatorial government.


Other Word Forms of Banana Republic


banana republic

Origin of Banana Republic

  • Coined by American author O. Henry in his 1904 book of short stories, "Cabbages and Kings", set in the fictional "Anchuria", which was based on his 1896-97 stay in Honduras.

    From Wiktionary

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banana republic