verb (used with object), bas·tard·ized, bas·tard·iz·ing.
  1. to lower in condition or worth; debase: hybrid works that neither preserve nor bastardize existing art forms.
  2. to declare or prove (someone) to be a bastard.
  3. Australian. to harass or humiliate as part of initiation into a college or regiment.
verb (used without object), bas·tard·ized, bas·tard·iz·ing.
  1. to become debased.
Also especially British, bas·tard·ise.

Origin of bastardize

First recorded in 1580–90; bastard + -ize
Related formsbas·tard·i·za·tion, nounun·bas·tard·ized, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bastardise



verb (tr)
  1. to debase; corrupt
  2. archaic to declare illegitimate
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 bastardise



1610s, "to identify as a bastard," from bastard (q.v.) + -ize. The figurative sense, "to make degenerate, debase" is earlier (1580s), probably because bastard also was serving as a verb meaning "to declare illegitimate" (1540s). Related: Bastardized; bastardizing; bastardization.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper