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

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 The idea that college campuses have ever been bastions of free speech is a fiction. Ezra Klein, Vox, "White threat in a browning America," 30 July 2018 The town of Masaya, about 15 miles south of the capital, Managua, was a bastion of support for Ortega and his Sandinista rebels who overthrew the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in 1979. Washington Post, "Nicaraguan city chooses to govern itself as crisis intensifies," 19 June 2018 The Nazis were by no means the handmaidens of German industry or the German military but, as Hett argues, both businessmen and officers formed lobbies in the late 1920s that aimed to break the republic and its bastion, the Social Democrats. Timothy Snyder, New York Times, "How Did the Nazis Gain Power in Germany?," 14 June 2018 What's supposed to be the most volatile asset in the universe is proving to be a bastion of stability compared with wild swings and carnage in global equities this week. Camila Russo, latimes.com, "Bitcoin finds a bottom as risk aversion grips global markets," 9 Feb. 2018 And, look, the board is not known as a bastion of liberalism. John Baer, Philly.com, "Sharif Street is on a mission for criminal justice reform," 29 June 2018 The decision, which affirmed broad free-speech rights for workers, appears certain to undercut the clout of unions representing government employees that have emerged as a bastion of labor activism. Laurent Belsie, The Christian Science Monitor, "Court ruling a blow, not a knockout, to public unions," 27 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.

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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

19 Nov 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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