from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Offensive A person born to parents not married to each other.
  • noun A person considered to be mean or contemptible.
  • noun A person, especially one considered to be unfortunate.
  • noun Something that is of irregular, inferior, or dubious origin.
  • adjective Offensive Born to parents not married to each other.
  • adjective Not genuine; spurious.
  • adjective Resembling a known kind or species but not truly such.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A natural child; a child begotten and born out of wedlock; an illegitimate or spurious child.
  • noun In sugar-refining: A large mold into which sugar is drained.
  • noun An impure, coarse brown sugar made from the refuse syrup of previous boilings.
  • noun An animal of inferior breed; a mongrel.
  • noun A kind of woolen cloth, probably of inferior quality, or of unusual width, or both.
  • noun A kind of war-vessel used in the middle ages, probably of unusual size.
  • noun In the seventeenth century, a small cannon, otherwise known as a bastard culverin (which see, under culverin).
  • noun A sweet Spanish wine resembling muscadel; any kind of sweetened wine.
  • noun In falconry, a kind of hawk.
  • noun A local name of Kemp's gulf-turtle, Thalassochelys (Colpochelys) kempi, of the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Begotten and born out of wedlock; illegitimate: as, a bastard child.
  • Mongrel; hybrid: as, a bastard brood.
  • Unauthorized; unrecognized: as, “bastard officers before God,”
  • Spurious; not genuine; false; supposititious; adulterate: as, “bastard hope,” ; “bastard honours,”
  • Having the appearance of being genuine; resembling in some degree: an epithet applied especially in botany, zoölogy, medicine, etc., to things which resemble, but are not identical with, the things named: as, bastard mahogany, bastard pimpernel, bastard caddis, bastard marble, bastard measles, etc. See phrases below. Also bastardly.
  • Of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions: applied to guns, ships, swords: as, bastard culverin, bastard galley, etc. See phrases.
  • A local English name (in Weymouth) of the variegated sole, Solea variegata.
  • To declare to be a bastard; stigmatize as a bastard; bastardize.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To bastardize.
  • noun A “natural” child; a child begotten and born out of wedlock; an illegitimate child; one born of an illicit union.
  • noun An inferior quality of soft brown sugar, obtained from the sirups that have already had several boilings.
  • noun A large size of mold, in which sugar is drained.
  • noun A sweet Spanish wine like muscatel in flavor.
  • noun A writing paper of a particular size. See Paper.
  • adjective Begotten and born out of lawful matrimony; illegitimate. See bastard, n., note.
  • adjective Lacking in genuineness; spurious; false; adulterate; -- applied to things which resemble those which are genuine, but are really not so.
  • adjective obsolete Of an unusual or irregular make or proportion.
  • adjective (Print.) Abbreviated, as the half title in a page preceding the full title page of a book.
  • adjective (Arch.) stones for ashlar work, roughly squared at the quarry.
  • adjective a file intermediate between the coarsest and the second cut.
  • adjective (Print.) type having the face of a larger or a smaller size than the body; e. g., a nonpareil face on a brevier body.
  • adjective (Zoöl.) three to five quill feathers on a small joint corresponding to the thumb in some mammalia; the alula.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who was born out of wedlock, and hence often considered an illegitimate descendant.
  • noun A mongrel. A biological cross between different breeds, groups or varieties.
  • noun vulgar A contemptible, inconsiderate, overly or arrogantly rude or spiteful person. See asshole, sod.
  • noun A man, a fellow, a male friend.
  • noun informal A child that does not know his or her father.
  • noun informal Something extremely difficult or unpleasant to deal with.
  • noun A variation that is not genuine; something irregular or inferior or of dubious origin, fake or counterfeit.
  • noun An intermediate-grade steel file; also : bastard file.
  • noun A sweet wine.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, probably of Germanic origin; akin to Old Frisian bōst, marriage.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English bastard, bastarde, from Late Old English bastard ("bastard"), from Anglo-Norman bastard ("illegitimate child"), from Old Low Frankish *bāst ("marriage") (compare Middle Dutch bast ("lust, heat")) and derogatory suffix -ard, from Proto-Germanic *banstuz (“bond, tie”) (compare West Frisian boask, boaste ("marriage")), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰendʰ- (“to tie, bind”); or equivalent to bast +‎ -ard. Cognate with West Frisian bastert ("bastard"), Dutch bastaard ("bastard"), German Bastard ("bastard"), Icelandic bastarður ("bastard"). Probably originally referred to a child from a polygynous marriage of Germanic custom but not sanctioned by the Church.


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