[ bas-chuhn, -tee-uhn ]
/ ˈbæs tʃən, -ti ən /


Fortification. a projecting portion of a rampart or fortification that forms an irregular pentagon attached at the base to the main work.
a fortified place.
anything seen as preserving or protecting some quality, condition, etc.: a bastion of solitude; a bastion of democracy.

Nearby words

  1. bastille,
  2. bastille day,
  3. bastinade,
  4. bastinado,
  5. basting,
  6. bastionary,
  7. bastnaesite,
  8. bastogne,
  9. bastrop,
  10. basuto

Origin of bastion

1590–1600; < Middle French < Italian bastione, equivalent to Upper Italian bastí(a) bastion, orig., fortified, built (cognate with Italian bastita, past participle of bastire to build < Germanic; see baste1) + -one augmentative suffix

Related formsbas·tion·ar·y [bas-chuh-ner-ee] /ˈbæs tʃəˌnɛr i/, adjectivebas·tioned, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bastion

British Dictionary definitions for bastion


/ (ˈbæstɪən) /


a projecting work in a fortification designed to permit fire to the flanks along the face of the wall
any fortified place
a thing or person regarded as upholding or defending an attitude, principle, etcthe last bastion of opposition

Word Origin for bastion

C16: from French, from earlier bastillon bastion, from bastille Bastille

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 bastion



1560s, from Middle French bastillon, diminutive of Old French bastille "fortress, tower, fortified, building," from Old Provençal bastir "build," perhaps originally "make with bast" (see baste (v.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper