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basta

[ bah-stah ]
/ ˈbɑ stɑ /
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interjection Italian.
enough; stop.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does basta mean?

Basta is an Italian and Spanish word meaning “Stop!” or “That’s enough!”

Where does basta come from?

Basta is the imperative form of the Italian verb bastare, “to stop.” It’s a forceful way to command: That’s enough! Both the Spanish and Italian basta are based in Latin.

The term is evidenced in English as early as 1616, when Shakespeare used it in his Padua-set Taming of the Shrew: “Basta, content thee.”

Two hundred years later, basta came onto the stage again, this time during the 2016 presidential election. Speaking to Latino voters, Hillary Clinton told her opponent, Donald Trump, to basta in regard to harsh immigration policies.

In 2018, attorney Michael Avenatti, representing adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Donald Trump, frequently hashtagged Twitter posts against Trump with #Basta.

How is basta used in real life?

Basta is used as an imperative and interjection. Exclaiming Basta! conveys you’re fed up with a person or situation and need it to stop.

Be mindful that it can come across as sassy or rude, not unlike the English “Shut up!”

Basta is proudly used by people of Spanish or Italian heritage.

More examples of basta:

“‘I was the first one to call [Trump] out. When he was engaging in rhetoric that I found deeply offensive I said ‘basta,’” Clinton said to cheers and laughter from the bilingual crowd at Miami Dade College.”
—Hillary Clinton quoted by Greg Robb, Market Watch, March 2016

Note

This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use basta in a sentence

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