bas·​tard | \ ˈba-stərd How to pronounce bastard (audio) \

Definition of bastard

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an illegitimate child
2 : something that is spurious (see spurious sense 3a), irregular, inferior, or of questionable origin The … residence is a bastard of the architectural era which followed the building of the Imperial Hotel …— Hugh Byas
3a : an offensive or disagreeable person used as a generalized term of abuse Then they made him an officer and right away he became the biggest bastard you ever saw.— Thomas Heggen
b : man, fellow … the nicest thing an Aussie can call you is a bloody fine bastard.— Wilson Hicks



Definition of bastard (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : illegitimate his bastard son
2 : of mixed or ill-conceived origin known for coining bastard words
3 : of abnormal shape or irregular size bastard sizes of doors and windows …— R. E. Flanders
4 : of a kind similar to but inferior to or less typical than some standard bastard marble
5 : lacking genuineness or authority : false … the indiscriminate use of Greek letters by bastard groups not connected with the higher learning.— Charles W. Ferguson

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Other Words from bastard


bastardly adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for bastard

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of bastard in a Sentence

Noun Congratulations on getting the job, you lucky bastard! His wife left him, the poor bastard. Life can be a real bastard sometimes. Adjective Alexander Hamilton appears to have been bothered by the fact that he was a bastard child. a bastard knockoff of a far superior thriller
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First Known Use of bastard


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bastard


Middle English, from Anglo-French, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old Frisian bost marriage, Old English bindan to bind


Middle English, from attributive use of bastard bastard entry 1

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Time Traveler for bastard

Time Traveler

The first known use of bastard was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Bastard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for bastard



English Language Learners Definition of bastard

offensive : a very bad or unpleasant man : a man who you strongly dislike or hate
sometimes offensive : a man who you think is lucky, unlucky, etc.
chiefly British, sometimes offensive : something that is difficult or unpleasant


bas·​tard | \ ˈbas-tərd How to pronounce bastard (audio) \

Legal Definition of bastard

: an illegitimate child

Note: The word bastard is no longer used in legal contexts.

Other Words from bastard

bastardy \ ˈbas-​tər-​dē How to pronounce bastard (audio) \ noun


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