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[ba-steel; French bas-tee-yuh] /bæˈstil; French basˈti yə/
noun, plural bastilles
[ba-steelz; French bas-tee-yuh] /bæˈstilz; French basˈti yə/ (Show IPA)
(initial capital letter) a fortress in Paris, used as a prison, built in the 14th century and destroyed July 14, 1789.
any prison or jail, especially one conducted in a tyrannical way.
a fortified tower, as of a castle; a small fortress; citadel.
Also, bastile
[ba-steel] /bæˈstil/ (Show IPA)
Origin of bastille
1350-1400; Middle English bastile < Middle French, probably alteration of bastide bastide, with -ile (< Medieval Latin, Latin -īle noun suffix of place) replacing -ide; replacing Middle English bastel < Old French basstel, with -el similarly replacing -ide Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for bastille


/bæˈstiːl; French bastij/
a fortress in Paris, built in the 14th century: a prison until its destruction in 1789, at the beginning of the French Revolution
Word Origin
C14: from Old French bastile fortress, from Old Provençal bastida, from bastir to build, of Germanic origin; see baste1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bastille



14c. Paris prison destroyed by revolutionaries on July 14, 1789, French, literally "fortress, tower" (see bastion).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bastille in Culture
Bastille [(ba-steel)]

A prison in Paris where many political and other offenders were held and tortured until the time of the French Revolution. It was attacked by workers on July 14, 1789, during the revolution; the prisoners were released, and the building was later demolished.

Note: The anniversary of the attack, Bastille Day, is the most important national holiday in France.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for bastille



A jail or prison

[1880s+; fr the former French royal prison]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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