[ ban-tuhm ]
/ ˈbæn təm /


(often initial capital letter) a chicken of any of several varieties or breeds characterized by very small size.
a small and feisty or quarrelsome person.


diminutive; tiny: bantam editions of the classics.


Origin of bantam

1740–50; apparently after Bantam, through which such chickens may have been imported to Europe

Definition for bantam (2 of 2)


[ ban-tuh m; Dutch bahn-tahm ]
/ ˈbæn təm; Dutch bɑnˈtɑm /


a village in W Java, in S Indonesia: first Dutch settlement in the East Indies. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bantam

British Dictionary definitions for bantam


/ (ˈbæntəm) /


any of various very small breeds of domestic fowl
a small but aggressive person
boxing short for bantamweight
  1. an age level of between 13 and 15 in amateur sport, esp ice hockey
  2. (as modifier)bantam hockey

Word Origin for bantam

C18: after Bantam village in Java, said to be the original home of this fowl
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

Word Origin and History for bantam



1749, after Bantam, former Dutch residency in Java, from which the small domestic fowl were said to have been first imported. Extension to "small person" is 1837. As a light weight class in boxing, it is attested from 1884, probably from the birds, which are small but aggressive and bred for fighting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper