[ bas-terd ]
See synonyms for bastard on
  1. a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.

  2. Slang.

    • 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.

  1. something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.

  1. illegitimate in birth.

  2. spurious; not genuine; false: The architecture was bastard Gothic.

  1. of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.

  2. having the appearance of; resembling in some degree: a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.

  3. Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.

Origin of bastard

1250–1300; Middle English <Anglo-French bastard,Medieval Latin bastardus (from 11th century), perhaps <Germanic (Ingvaeonic) *bāst-, presumed variant of *bōst- marriage + Old French -ard-ard, taken as signifying the offspring of a polygynous marriage to a woman of lower status, a pagan tradition not sanctioned by the church; compare Old Frisian bost marriage <Germanic *bandstu-, a noun derivative of Indo-European *bhendh-bind; the traditional explanation of Old French bastard as derivative of fils de bast “child of a packsaddle” is doubtful on chronological and geographical grounds

Other words for bastard

Words Nearby bastard Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for bastard


/ (ˈbɑːstəd, ˈbæs-) /

  1. informal, offensive an obnoxious or despicable person

  2. informal, often jocular a person, esp a man: lucky bastard

  1. informal something extremely difficult or unpleasant: that job is a real bastard

  2. old-fashioned, or offensive a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate baby, child, or adult

  3. something irregular, abnormal, or inferior

  4. a hybrid, esp an accidental or inferior one

  1. old-fashioned, or offensive illegitimate by birth

  2. irregular, abnormal, or inferior in shape, size, or appearance

  1. resembling a specified thing, but not actually being such: a bastard cedar

  2. counterfeit; spurious

Origin of bastard

C13: from Old French bastart, perhaps from bast in the phrase fils de bast son of the packsaddle (that is, of an unlawful and not the marriage bed), from Medieval Latin bastum packsaddle, of uncertain origin

Derived forms of bastard

  • bastardly, adjective

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