bas·​tion ˈbas-chən How to pronounce bastion (audio)
: a projecting part of a fortification
a bastion at each of the fort's five corners
: a fortified area or position
bombing island bastions
: stronghold sense 2
the last bastion of academic standardsAmer. Scientist
bastioned adjective

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Bastion is related to bastille (a word now used as a general term for a prison, but probably best known as the name of the Parisian fortress-turned-prison stormed by an angry mob at the start of the French Revolution). It comes from the Italian verb bastire, which means "to build."

Examples of bastion in a Sentence

the rebel army retreated to its bastion in the mountains to regroup
Recent Examples on the Web Criticism of the busing program from local authorities in Villahermosa has been somewhat muted, perhaps not surprising since the surrounding Tabasco is a bastion of support for Mr. López Obrador and his home state. Paulina Villegas Luis Antonio Rojas, New York Times, 14 May 2024 That primary, also resembling more of a coronation in the GOP bastion, morphed into an ugly battle over culture war issues like transgender rights. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for bastion 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bastion.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Middle French, borrowed from Italian bastione, from bastia "small quadrangular fortress" (from an Upper Italian counterpart to Tuscan bastita, from feminine past participle of bastire "to build," probably borrowed from Old Occitan bastir "to weave, build," or its Gallo-Romance ancestor) + -one, augmentative suffix (going back to Latin -ō, -ōn-, suffix of nouns denoting persons with a prominent feature) — more at bastille

First Known Use

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of bastion was in 1546


Dictionary Entries Near bastion

Cite this Entry

“Bastion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


bas·​tion ˈbas-chən How to pronounce bastion (audio)
: some place or something that gives protection against attack
a bastion of democracy

More from Merriam-Webster on bastion

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