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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The magnificent palaces, towers, bastions, ramparts and gateways symbolize the power of the mighty Mughals. Antonia Neubauer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Asia," 5 Oct. 2016 The second strike targeted civil servants in Ghazni province, which lies to the southwest of Kabul and is a Taliban bastion. Washington Post, "World Digest: July 10, 2018," 10 July 2018 At the height of the migrant crisis, Italy had been a progressive bastion and a staunch supporter of European unity. Jason Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Migrants were welcome in Macerata, before a murder," 7 July 2018 At the height of the migrant crisis, Italy had been a progressive bastion and a staunch supporter of European unity. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "This Italian Town Once Welcomed Migrants. Now, It’s a Symbol for Right-Wing Politics," 7 July 2018 Compared with China, however, India remains a bastion of free speech, minority rights and judicial independence. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "I Think I’m Going to Kathmandu, Say the Chinese," 28 June 2018 Additionally, the political character of Ohio's 12th District differs significantly from Pennsylvania's 18th, an area that up until around the turn of the century was a Democratic bastion and where registered Democrats still outnumber Republicans. NBC News, "Ohio special election emerges as Democrats' next best chance to stun GOP," 17 June 2018 The conservative Freedom Foundation has launched a campaign in a trio of West Coast union bastions — California, Oregon and its home state of Washington — aimed at shrinking union ranks by 127,000 members. David Lazarus, latimes.com, "California Inc.: Will Comcast raise stakes in battle for Fox?," 2 July 2018 But now the leaders of this bastion of preservation are pressing for the bulldozing of what some appalled activists contend is one of downtown Coral Gables' most significant remaining early commercial buildings — for use as a parking lot. Andres Viglucci, miamiherald, "Famed for protecting historic buildings, this city wants to bulldoze one. For parking.," 29 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bastion

Listen to Our Podcast about bastion

Statistics for bastion

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bastion

The first known use of bastion was in 1562

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on bastion

What made you want to look up bastion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

an open space surrounded by woods

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!