bas·​tion | \ ˈbas-chən How to pronounce bastion (audio) \

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 How to pronounce bastion (audio) \ adjective

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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."

Examples of bastion in a Sentence

the rebel army retreated to its bastion in the mountains to regroup
Recent Examples on the Web But what about on one of the Mediterranean's most famous party islands -- Mykonos -- known as a bastion of hedonism? Hannah Seligson, CNN, 2 July 2021 Online information is pretty sparse, Airbnbs are few and far between, and the lake is known more as a bastion of bass fishing than anything else. San Francisco Chronicle, 1 July 2021 The Sixth District was once a Democratic stronghold, until Phil Gramm switched party affiliations in 1983, turning the district into a reliable bastion of Republican strength for decades. New York Times, 1 May 2021 In its infancy, the internet was still second to anything IRL, a bastion of all that was niche and experimental. Frances Solá-santiago,, 9 July 2021 Once a Democratic bastion powered by organized labor, Galesburg has drifted more Republican as union jobs have waned. Thomas Beaumont, Star Tribune, 5 July 2021 Once a Democratic bastion powered by organized labor, Galesburg has drifted more Republican as union jobs have waned. Thomas Beaumont, ajc, 5 July 2021 Ambani’s group launched a digital services arm Jio with the promise of becoming India’s next tech bastion, even promising to lead India’s 5G revolution. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 4 July 2021 The Boston mayor’s office has been an especially durable bastion of white male power. Los Angeles Times, 29 June 2021

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

1546, 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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The first known use of bastion was in 1546

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bastion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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More Definitions for bastion



English Language Learners Definition of bastion

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

More from Merriam-Webster on bastion

Nglish: Translation of bastion for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bastion for Arabic Speakers


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