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 bastioned (audio) \ 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

As Jo, Casey's put-upon and increasingly more pregnant wife, Julet Lindo is a bastion of emotional stability in a sea of sequins and high camp. Jeffrey Gillespie| For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Elvis impersonator transforms into drag diva in endearing ‘Legend of Georgia McBride’," 10 June 2019 Charlotte, which hosted the Democratic National Convention for President Barack Obama in 2012 and has long been known as one of the nation’s largest financial centers, has increasingly become a bastion of liberalism in the South. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Charlotte almost voted to stop the 2020 Republican convention from coming to town," 16 July 2018 California is the progressive bastion for the country right now. Washington Post, "Net neutrality backers fume as California bill watered down," 20 June 2018 Since Girls came roaring onto the scene in 2012, premium cable has become a bastion for dramedies powered by young women. Ariana Romero,, "Vida Review: It's Unlike Anything Else On TV," 3 May 2018 Humphrey hoped to stop Kennedy in West Virginia, overwhelmingly Protestant and a labor bastion. Edward Kosner, WSJ, "‘Hubert Humphrey’ Review: The Man From Minnesota," 31 Aug. 2018 The companies with the deep pockets to play the influence game and the profit margins to survive burdens that would crush smaller competitors are no bastions of libertarian thought. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "No, free market conservatives are not becoming Dems," 31 July 2018 Center back Diego Godin, 31, along with Cavani, 30, and Suarez, 30, remain as the bastions of the squad, but midfielders Federico Valverde, 19, and Nahitan Nandez, 21, have garnered some prominence. José Luis Sánchez Pando,, "2018 World Cup Group A preview: Watch out for 'The Pharaohs'," 22 May 2018 But even in swinging London there are bastions of resistance, like the closed drawing rooms of the traditional gentlemen’s clubs, for those who enjoy reading the Daily Telegraph while taking their morning tea. Janine Di Giovanni, Town & Country, "Is Brexit Ruining London Dinner Parties?," 25 Feb. 2019

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

18 Jun 2019

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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



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

Comments on bastion

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to take the place or position of

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