- a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.
- a vicious, despicable, or thoroughly disliked person: Some bastard slashed the tires on my car.
- a person, especially a man: The poor bastard broke his leg.
- something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.
- bastard culverin.
- illegitimate in birth.
- spurious; not genuine; false: The architecture was bastard Gothic.
- of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.
- having the appearance of; resembling in some degree: a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.
- Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.
Origin of bastard
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- informal, offensive an obnoxious or despicable person
- informal, often jocular a person, esp a manlucky bastard
- informal something extremely difficult or unpleasantthat job is a real bastard
- old-fashioned, or offensive a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate baby, child, or adult
- something irregular, abnormal, or inferior
- a hybrid, esp an accidental or inferior one
- old-fashioned, or offensive illegitimate by birth
- irregular, abnormal, or inferior in shape, size, or appearance
- resembling a specified thing, but not actually being sucha bastard cedar
- counterfeit; spurious
Word Origin and History for bastard
"illegitimate child," early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), "acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife," probably from fils de bast "packsaddle son," meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz "barn," equally suggestive of low origin.
Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as "William the Bastard." Figurative sense of "something not pure or genuine" is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the "bastard" words in Halliwell-Phillipps' "Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words" are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo ("a bastard's bastard").