ban·​tam | \ ˈban-təm How to pronounce bantam (audio) \

Definition of bantam

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : any of numerous small domestic fowls that are often miniatures of members of the standard breeds
2 : a person of diminutive stature and often combative disposition



Definition of bantam (Entry 2 of 3)

2 : pertly combative


geographical name
Ban·​tam | \ ˈban-təm How to pronounce Bantam (audio) \

Definition of Bantam (Entry 3 of 3)

former town of Indonesia in the northwestern corner of Java; once capital of the Sultanate of Bantam

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Examples of bantam in a Sentence

Adjective a bantam comedian who is known to fellow performers for his oversize ego
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Wearing the flashy, sporty clothes of a barroom bantam (Alice Tavener did the costumes), Mr. Battiste finds the cancerous, painful insecurity within Walter’s strutting exhibitionism. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘A Raisin in the Sun’ Burns With New Fire," 1 July 2019 Perlini was teammates with Wings forward Dylan Larkin on the Belle Tire bantam team that won a national championship in 2011. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings acquire former first-round pick in trade with Chicago Blackhawks," 28 Oct. 2019 These bantam stars were considered unlikely to host many close-in planets — worlds that orbit near enough to their suns to receive sufficient energy to sustain life. NBC News, "How a discovery that earned the Nobel Prize in Physics transformed the hunt for alien life," 9 Oct. 2019 And for decades, one bantam-sized tailor has outfitted more than his share of hulking hockey stars. Giovanni Vacca, 86, stands about 5-foot-5 and sports a black suit, V-neck sweater and dress shirt. Salim Valji, New York Times, "Suiting Up Hockey’s Stars, One Stitch At a Time," 10 June 2019 Times are 9 to 10:30 a.m. for mites (8 and under) and squirts (10 and under) and 10:30 a.m. to noon for peewees (12 and under) and bantams (17 and under). San Diego Union-Tribune, "Women’s group serves meal at Camp Pendleton’s Fisher House," 7 Aug. 2019 Years before, Meade had played for Monte with the Chicago Blues at the bantam level. Jon J. Kerr,, "Anthony Monte is the new man behind the bench for Fenwick boys hockey," 26 June 2019 Eventually, ispace aims to set up a robotic lunar transportation service and use its bantam rovers to identify and help exploit the resources available on Earth's nearest neighbor, such as water ice. Mike Wall,, "Japanese Startup ispace to Launch Moon Lander Missions on SpaceX Rockets," 26 Sep. 2018 Son Kayden, a 74-pounder, will step between the ropes on Saturday in a bantam novice division for 9- and 10-year-olds. John Henry, star-telegram, "Mother joins children as competitors in Golden Gloves | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 22 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tipping the scales at a bantam weight of only 1.14 pounds, and less than a foot long, even the gram-conscious minimalists have to take notice. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "15 Pieces of Survival Gear We Can’t Live Without," 9 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bantam.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of bantam


1740, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bantam


Bantam, former residency in Java

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Time Traveler for bantam

Time Traveler

The first known use of bantam was in 1740

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Cite this Entry

“Bantam.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for bantam


How to pronounce Bantam (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bantam

: a kind of small chicken


ban·​tam | \ ˈban-təm How to pronounce bantam (audio) \

Kids Definition of bantam

: a miniature breed of domestic chicken often raised for exhibiting in shows

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More from Merriam-Webster on bantam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bantam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bantam Encyclopedia article about bantam

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