ban·tam | \ˈban-təm \

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 \

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


a bantam comedian who is known to fellow performers for his oversize ego

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His voice, clipped and nasal, had a bantam toughness, and his sentences (in life, not literature) make regular detours from formidable erudition into the slangy and profane. Mark Binelli, New York Times, "Is the Next Nobel Laureate in Literature Tending Bar in a Dusty Australian Town?," 27 Mar. 2018 Many layer, broiler, and dual-purpose breeds are available as standards or bantams. Denise Foley, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need To Know About Raising Backyard Chickens," 14 Mar. 2017 Kilgore, the Lamoureux sisters’ bantam coach, wonders if girls can adjust their aspirations to be KnightRiders instead of Fighting Hawks, and whether that will be enough to keep girls’ hockey relevant in a vibrant hockey state. Pat Borzi, New York Times, "North Dakota’s Loss of Division I Women’s Hockey Leaves a Void," 10 Jan. 2018 Son Jahmir, a 52-pounder, kicked it off for the family on Thursday, also in a bantam novice bout 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 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 Finley is a 6th overall bantam pick who played in his first game Friday. Dylan Bumbarger,, "Game thread: Spokane Chiefs at Portland Winterhawks," 16 Dec. 2017 There were large chickens, Asiatic chickens, and game bantams. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Poultry Popularity On Display At Woodstock Fair," 18 Sep. 2017 Rapp, played by Dylan O’Brien (who has the bearing, manner and vocal inflections of a bantam Mark Wahlberg), is young, but not really a fresh face. A.o. Scott, New York Times, "Review: Hey, Jack Reacher and Jason Bourne. Room for One More?," 14 Sep. 2017

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

The first known use of bantam was in 1740

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English Language Learners Definition of bantam

: a kind of small chicken


ban·tam | \ˈban-təm \

Kids Definition of bantam

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

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