Bal·us·ter n. Arch. A small column or pilaster, used as a support to the rail of an open parapet, to guard the side of a staircase, or the front of a gallery. See Balustrade. [Corrupted into banister.]
1. A baluster.
2. (sing. or pl.) The balustrade of a staircase. Formerly used in this sense mostly in the plural, now mostly in the singular. [Also spelled bannister.]
He struggled to ascend the pulpit stairs, holding hard on the banisters. --=\Sir W. Scott.\=
n : a railing at the side of a staircase or balcony to prevent
people from falling [syn: bannister, balustrade, balusters,