Definition of bastion
- a bastion at each of the fort's five corners
- bombing island bastions
- the last bastion of academic standards
- —Amer. Scientist
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the rebel army retreated to its bastion in the mountains to regroup
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Bastion is constructed of etymological building blocks that are very similar to those of "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). The history of "bastion" can be traced through Middle French to the Old Italian verb bastire, which means "to build." "Bastille" descends from the Old Occitan verb "bastir," which also means "to build." "Bastir" and "bastire" are themselves of Germanic origin and akin to the Old High German word besten, meaning "to patch."
First Known Use: 1562See Words from the same year
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