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a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.

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.

something irregular, inferior, spurious, or unusual.
bastard culverin.
illegitimate in birth.
spurious; not genuine; false:
The architecture was bastard Gothic.
of abnormal or irregular shape or size; of unusual make or proportions:
bastard quartz; bastard mahogany.
having the appearance of; resembling in some degree:
a bastard Michelangelo; bastard emeralds.
Printing. (of a character) not of the font in which it is used or found.
(informal, offensive) an obnoxious or despicable person
(informal, often jocular) a person, esp a man: lucky bastard
(informal) something extremely difficult or unpleasant: that job is a real bastard
(old-fashioned or offensive) a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate baby, child, or adult
something irregular, abnormal, or inferior
a hybrid, esp an accidental or inferior one
adjective (prenominal)
(old-fashioned or offensive) illegitimate by birth
irregular, abnormal, or inferior in shape, size, or appearance
resembling a specified thing, but not actually being such: a bastard cedar
counterfeit; spurious

“illegitimate child,” early 13c., from Old French bastard (11c., Modern French bâtard), “acknowledged child of a nobleman by a woman other than his wife,” probably from fils de bast “packsaddle son,” meaning a child conceived on an improvised bed (saddles often doubled as beds while traveling), with pejorative ending -art (see -ard). Alternative possibly is that the word is from Proto-Germanic *banstiz “barn,” equally suggestive of low origin.

Not always regarded as a stigma; the Conqueror is referred to in state documents as “William the Bastard.” Figurative sense of “something not pure or genuine” is late 14c.; use as a vulgar term of abuse for a man is attested from 1830. As an adjective from late 14c. Among the “bastard” words in Halliwell-Phillipps’ “Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words” are avetrol, chance-bairn, by-blow, harecoppe, horcop, and gimbo (“a bastard’s bastard”).


A man one dislikes or disapproves of, esp a mean, dishonest, self-serving man; prick, son of a bitch (late 1600s+)
Anything unpleasant or arduous; bitch: Ain’t it a bastard the way it keeps raining (1930s+)

In the Old Testament the rendering of the Hebrew word _mamzer’_, which means “polluted.” In Deut. 23:2, it occurs in the ordinary sense of illegitimate offspring. In Zech. 9:6, the word is used in the sense of foreigner. From the history of Jephthah we learn that there were bastard offspring among the Jews (Judg. 11:1-7). In Heb. 12:8, the word (Gr. nothoi) is used in its ordinary sense, and denotes those who do not share the privileges of God’s children.


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    a color of gelatin commonly used in stage lighting, similar to light amber but having a pinkish cast.

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    a 16th-century cannon, smaller than a culverin, firing a shot of between 5 and 8 pounds (11 and 17.6 kg).

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    the first-born illegitimate son of parents whose second son was legitimate.

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