bastion

noun
bas·​tion | \ˈbas-chən \

Definition of bastion 

1 : a projecting part of a fortification a bastion at each of the fort's five corners

2 : a fortified area or position bombing island bastions

3 : stronghold sense 2 the last bastion of academic standardsAmer. Scientist

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Other Words from bastion

bastioned \ˈbas-​chənd \ adjective

Did You Know?

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."

Examples of bastion in a Sentence

the rebel army retreated to its bastion in the mountains to regroup

Recent Examples on the Web

Tsuruga castle, a modern replica of the 14th-century structure that was the last bastion of samurai warriors, appeared as a chalky smudge on a hill. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Slow Skiing in Japan's Deep North," 11 Oct. 2018 Why this matters: Gaming laptops are the last bastion of hulking, fire-breathing, theoretically portable PCs. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Hands on with Alienware m15: The thinnest 15-inch Alienware laptop ever made," 4 Oct. 2018 The Reno Air Races are the only bastion of competitive airplane racing in the world. Eric Tegler, Ars Technica, "400mph, 50 feet up—what it takes to race and win world’s fastest motorsport," 30 Aug. 2018 Those seats represent the last bastion of GOP power in a state where no Republican holds statewide office. Maeve Reston, CNN, "How a surge of progressive energy could backfire on Democrats in California," 31 May 2018 The Battle of Aden began in March 2015, when the Houthis, who overran the north the previous year, stormed south and attacked Aden, the last bastion of the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Washington Post, "In Yemen’s Aden, a generation chewed up and spit out by war," 12 May 2018 The neighborhood, once a bastion of black gentility, was beginning its decades-long descent into gangs, drugs, no jobs and bad schools. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "New York City Would Really Rather Not Talk About Its Slavery-Loving Past," 15 Apr. 2015 Thousands raised only the flag of the Syrian revolution, a reminder that there was once a popular uprising against Assad, and Idlib is now its last bastion. Fox News, "Last stand: Syria's rebel Idlib prepares for a losing battle," 16 Sep. 2018 Last month, his forces knocked down the last few barricades that protected rebel bastions in the country and fired on a Catholic church, killing two people, and on the national university in Managua, where the revolts started. José De Córdoba, WSJ, "With Old Escape Routes Gone, Dictators Hang On," 3 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bastion.' 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 bastion

1562, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for bastion

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

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Statistics for bastion

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for bastion

The first known use of bastion was in 1562

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More Definitions for bastion

bastion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of bastion

: a place or system in which something (such as an old-fashioned idea) continues to survive

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More from Merriam-Webster on bastion

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bastion

Spanish Central: Translation of bastion

Nglish: Translation of bastion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bastion for Arabic Speakers

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